On Tape, Union Is Family Business

Posted: October 24, 1986

Early in January, Steve Traitz Jr., business manager of Roofers Union Local 30-30B, instructed his son, Joseph, "not to hit anyone anymore in the union offices."

That admonition, according to a federal indictment yesterday that named 21 people, including Steve Traitz, came after Traitz learned about a week earlier that the union office had been bugged by federal investigators.

At that point, the indictment said, Traitz began writing notes to others in the union so as not to be overheard and told them that earlier discussions concerning criminal activity were false.

Until it was discovered, federal officials say, the investigative ear in 1985 overheard details of beatings and threats of physical and economic harm to roofers and officers of roofing companies as well as discussions of gifts to judges and payments to be collected for alleged organized crime figures.

The indictment alleges, for instance, that:

* On or about Sept. 30, 1985, Steve Traitz Jr. discussed with Michael ''Nails" Mangini, a union business agent, a list of errands given Traitz ''by a reputed organized crime figure."

* On Oct. 1, Traitz directed union business agent Ernest Williams not to organize a roofer "associated with a reputed organized crime figure."

* On or about Oct. 1, Traitz told another man he "did not need anyone to help him rob his union."

* On or about Oct. 3, Traitz held a telephone conversation with a Common Pleas judge concerning roofing work on the judge's residence. Later he discussed arranging roofing work for a judge "at no cost to the judge."

* On or about Oct. 7, Traitz stated he had instructed another man called before an investigating federal grand jury to "tell three-quarters of the truth."

* On or about Oct. 9, a man was threatened with being "put back in the hospital" if he did not observe a rule under which he reported having worked 100 hours each month regardless of whether he did, thereby requiring him to pay at least $60 a month in dues to the union.

* On or about Oct. 11, business agent Robert Medina, since resigned, told Traitz he was going to "call everyone in and hit them with the 100 hours." Traitz told Medina to "hit them with it."

* On or about Oct. 21, 1985, Traitz and Medina discussed pending criminal charges against Medina and "fixing" the outcome of an upcoming hearing. Traitz later told others he had discussed the case with the judge who presided over the hearing.

* On or about Oct. 23, Traitz informed Michael Daily, described as the union's recording secretary and business agent, he had "permission to assault a roofer."

* On or about Oct. 29, Traitz told several people that two judges, one from Common Pleas Court and one from Municipal Court, "really came through."

* On or about Oct. 31, Traitz informed two other menhe "does favors for a reputed organized crime figure once each month."

* On or about Nov. 4, Thomas F. Brown, a former court crier hired to run errands for Roofers officials, complained he was having difficulty getting a case reassigned to the "right" judge.

* The same day Traitz and another union official discussed the "ability" of two judges, again one from Common Pleas Court and one from Municipal Court, to "influence" judges Traitz could not influence directly.

* On or about Nov. 7, Traitz, another union official and Harry Joseph, described as an alleged member of an organized crime group who sought the union's help collecting debts and "tribute," discussed the fact that Joseph Traitz "only wanted to beat people on behalf of the Roofers Union."

* Also on Nov. 7, three Roofers officials threatened to beat a man identified only as "Dave" and demanded he observe the 100-hour rule.

* On or about Nov. 13, Steve Traitz held a telephone conversation with a Montgomery County prison official about a complimentary weekend in Atlantic City he had arranged for the official "and the fact that the official would perform favors for Traitz."

* On or about Nov. 21, Traitz instructed three union officials, including his son-in-law, Richard Schoenberger, a union organizer and boxer, on "how to assault an individual to force him to report 100 hours worked . . . "

* Also on or about Nov. 21, another man was hit by Roofers officials and forced to buy tickets to a benefit for $300.

* Also on or about Nov. 21, Traitz and three alleged organized crime figures, including Saul Kane, an alleged associate of reputed crime boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, met at a Northeast restaurant with Richard Kinkade, and Kane received a large sum of cash from Kinkade. Earlier Traitz had informed Kinkade, a reputed Philadelphia sports-betting operator, that Kane was trying to collect a gambling debt Kincade owed.

* On or about Nov. 22, Traitz, his two sons and another man discussed ''beatings of various individuals by union vice president Robert Crosley and Medina and other union officials, "in their official capacities."

* On or about Nov. 26, two union officials beat another roofer and threatened to prevent him from working unless he paid money to them.

* On or about Dec. 5, Traitz and others filled envelopes with money intended for 11 Philadelphia Common Pleas judges, three Philadelphia Municipal judges, a Montgomery County judge, two Pennsylvania Superior Court judges, a Philadelphia Traffic Court judge, the Camden County sheriff and a number of other federal and local officials.

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