While union mob ties have been the subject of many a mafia movie, one carpenters’ union is taking real-life steps to weed out mob affiliates among its members.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters announced it will expand the authority of its federal monitor to be able to bring charges against union members suspected of mob membership or ties to organized crime, according to the Real Deal. Monitor Glen McGorty will be able to bring charges against members suspected of “knowingly associating with any member or associate of any La Cosa Nostra crime family or any other criminal group,” according to a court order filed in New York on Tuesday.

An independent hearing officer, Sharon McCarthy of the Kostelanetz & Fink law firm, has also been enlisted to hear such charges and potentially order the removal of members from the trade organization.

“The leadership team of the New York City District Council of Carpenters continues to work with the Independent Monitor to push for the highest standards of transparency and ethics,” Joseph Geiger, the executive secretary-treasurer at the District Council, said in statement. “This latest action will make it so that beyond just actions taken by this organization, appropriate action may be taken by a body independent of this organization against any member who fails to uphold those standards.”

The union has been under court supervision since 1994 and, in the last few years, has fallen under renewed pressure to fight against any association with organized crime after carpenter and member Michael Dolphin made the news for renting out a Queens apartment to a mafia social club run by mobster “Bobby Glasses” in 2014. Dolphin was sentenced to six months in prison on gambling charges in 2o14 but not formally removed from the union in 2018.

In 2019, McGorty announced that the union would work out ways to make it easier for it to remove members suspected of organized crime. Before the latest changes, only leaders and staff members could be removed on such grounds by the monitor while regular members would need to go through a trial committee composed of other members.

Recent years have been tumultuous for the union — according to the Real Deal, two presidents of the union have resigned amid allegations of misconduct while inspector general David Pié resigned for unspecified reasons in June of this year. The NYC City District Council of Carpenters did not immediately respond to Inman’s requests for comment.

McGorty, who will stay on as monitor until at least December 2021, will have the power to set rules about how members are elected and move to press charges against members suspected of mob affiliations. Those in the running for union leadership will need to file affidavits outlining any potential ties to mob associations with the executive secretary-treasurer and inspector generals office.

Given the inventory shortage facing most major cities in the U.S., many would-be buyers are instead turning to building homes — the latest numbers show that national builder confidence is at a high not seen since 1985.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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