The worlds of Arthur Coia: Part One

The worlds of Arthur Coia: Part One

...Coia's father, right in front of Ryan, called: "Other nominations?" Ryan headed for a microphone, but someone swiped it.

"You little . . .," a delegate screamed. "Why don't you get the . . . out of here."

Someone stepped on Ryan's foot and shoved, and the beating started. At least 20 sergeants-at-arms and delegates, including two mob associates from Chicago, a witness recalls, jumped Ryan, beating and kicking him for several minutes in full view of thedais.

Coia shouted, "Will the delegate get to the microphone."

Bruised, his shirt ripped, a cut over his eye, Ryan fumbled for his glasses. Someone handed them to him. He straightened, limped to a microphone and looked Coia's father inthe eye.

"I wish to make a nomination for president," Ryan rasped. "I think it's time we returned to the tradition this union was founded on."

"Those last remarks are out of order," Coia's father said, according to Ryan.

The incumbent slate won,2,342 to 5....

The worlds of Arthur Coia: Part Two

The worlds of Arthur Coia: Part Two

"...Dear Arthur," reads the note. "I've just heard you've become a grandfather - congratulations!

"Thanks for the gorgeous driver. It's a work of art."

The date is Nov. 4, 1994.

The stationary says, "The White House."

The signature is simply,"Bill."

The handwritten note from President Clinton marked just how far Coia had come in 18 months....

Laborers, U.S. agree on union cleanup

Laborers, U.S. agree on union cleanup

Atty. Gen. Janet Reno yesterday stoutly defended the Justice Department's unique agreement to end mob corruption in the Laborers International Union of North America, and top prosecutors said the union's controversial general president, RhodeIslander Arthur A. Coia, is "under scrutiny."

Reno also assured rank-and-file Laborers that Coia's political relationship with President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has had no effect on delicate negotiations between prosecutors andLaborers officials on how best to reform the troubled union.

"I don't know anything about relationships," Reno said. "But I know about the evidence and the law, and I'm going to do everything I can based on the evidence and the law to see thatpeople who committed crimes are held accountable."

Reno called the press conference to announce what she described as a breakthrough in the campaign to clean up the Laborers: an agreement to hold direct rank-and-file elections for the first time inunion history.

"Free and democratic elections are the best way to ensure that unions will truly serve their members," Reno said. "Nothing less is acceptable."

Still, prosecutors acknowledged that the reforms are only partial; even under the newplan, Coia and his allies are likely to remain in power into the next century....