|UNION REPORT NOT NEEDED, LEVAR SAYS
Tribune Staff Writer
February 15, 2000
Chicago Ald. Patrick Levar (45th) on Monday defended his work as a consultant to a scandal-plagued union, saying there are no written reports of his work because he was never required to provide any to the union.
Levar, who is running for Cook County Circuit Court clerk, said he worked for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union as a consultant and lobbyist for almost nine years, earning roughly $27,000 per year.
A federal court-appointed monitor probing allegations of mismanagement within the union leadership said in 1998 that he found “no reports” explaining what work Levar performed. The monitor criticized the union for not recording the work of several high-priced consultants.
Over the weekend, a leader of a dissident group within the union resurrected the issue, calling on Levar to explain the fees. The member, Martin Preib, also voiced plans to formally request that union officials account for Levar’s salary as well, or sue to recover it.
Defending his activities in a statement released Monday, Levar said: “During that time I was on call and gave advice concerning governmental and political functions and advocated for the union in Springfield and Washington, D.C.
“The union did not require written reports from any of its consultants. I made oral reports regularly to the international union.”
Levar’s campaign manager noted that Levar was never disciplined for his involvement with the union, which has been monitored since 1995 by federal investigators.
Despite Levar’s statements, Preib said he had no plans to withdraw his request to union officials.