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Honorable Richard M.

Berman
United States District Court I Southern District ofNew York
United States Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007-13212
RE: Case# 1:90-cv-05722-RMB-THK
June 21, 2013
Dear Judge Berman,
I am a newly retired 30 year member of the NYC District Council of Carpenters. I have been active and relatively well
informed for most of those years. In the 80's and early 90's as a member of Local 135, I witnessed shameful disregard
for members' rights to work and experienced my own share of retaliation by way of shunning for challenging three
administrations and advocating on behalf of women and minorities. When testimonies were asked of us regarding the
Kleinstein investigations, I provided mine. I have been around long enough to know the good people, who conduct
themselves with honor and integrity.
When Local 135 merged with Local 257, I met with a new form of dictatorship. One so openly dangerous, I wondered
how it could exist, under supervision and in the midst of federal investigations. I joined the Trial Committee and ran
for office. It was there that I got to know how steadfast a citizen Mike Bilello was. His determination to follow every
corrupt lead was quite plain. Throughout, he exhibited all the finest qualities of a human being and he was a tough
and focused investigator. As a member, Mike Bilello showed extraordinary humanity and courtesy through all the
insults and attempts to humiliate him down from the microphone when he stood at a meeting to challenge each
impropriety .
Most of us will never know how dangerously close Mike Bilello stepped to personal harm on our behalf. He is a man
of strong convictions and ethics who doesn't back down. Grown men shied from supporting him at the risk of
blacklisting. He was laughed at by his brothers because it was safer than applauding him. There is no mistaking that
he stood among the lions of rebellion and advocacy in the labor movement.
There were certainly many others who contributed to the downfall of the local officials and the Forde administration.
I am by no means daintily throwing laurels. I am merely pointing out one person among the thousands who stood out
and spoke with intelligence and reason. He was informative, relentless, inspiring the rest ofus along the way with
humility and always leading by example.
When Michael Forde was removed from office, the opportunity came to redefine our union. We voted for change and
it came with Mike Bilello at the helm. We wanted the man who had consistently stood his ground, the man whose
code of ethics was unquestionable. I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to my work confident that someone
trustworthy was in charge.
Unfortunately, as you know, the man inherited, corrupt officers and BA's, unresolved legal issues, new contract
issues, a council in disarray, a dwindling welfare fund and thousands out of work. All under the eye ofjudges,
lawyers, federal officers and a General President in Washington. These pressing circumstances required careful
planning, collaboration and time. The membership wanted sweeping reform. Realities dictated otherwise.
If President Obama, a man oflaw, an accomplished head of the the western world has struggled through four plus
years to reign in an unruly Congress, how was a carpenter, albeit a well educated and dedicated citizen, expected to
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RICHARD M. BERMAN
U.S.D.J.
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Case 1:90-cv-05722-RMB-THK Document 1339 Filed 06/24/13 Page 1 of 2
Lisa Narducci, '
While the industry collapsed around us, the largest, now combined local 157 struggled to recover autonomy as one
entity. Paranoia continues to plague the members. There are still self serving people influencing this mistrust.
Members don't see progress because they are used to believing there will be none. It is so easy to blame someone
for the lack of progress, and look to someone else to fix everything. We, by inaction, are part of the problem. Much
of the country suffers from the same angst and "disconnect" as a perceptive member very aptly termed our condition.
Mine are the observations of an ordinary citizen who happens to be a carpenter, they don't get alphabetical exhibits,
sections, or paragraph numbers attached to make them valid.
Over the past year, the local meetings became an arena of conflict and disagreement. All seemingly understandable,
healthy and robust behavior had it not begun to look like someone or group was inciting division. I thought that in
time, things would settle down. They had not. Had an instigator inserted itself in the name of information? The 157
blog became a podium for dubious dialogs. As I read, I became alarmed that something else was up beyond the
typical helter-skelter of construction workers' prattle.
I read accusations about Mike Bilello that simply didn't make any sense. The Delegates divided into two factions,
each claiming to serve the membership more than the other. By the time I set up a meeting with Mike Bilello, to see for
myself what was going so badly wrong to get these people in such uproar, he was vetoed out of office. I went to
other local meetings and found seasoned members who are shocked and disapprove of such drastic measures.
Extraordinary times inevitably bring about extraordinary expectations. When people who have been constrained
think it's safe to speak up, they burst into uproar. In the midst of confusion, progress can be undone or worse:
overlooked and good people are trampled along with their good deeds.
The veto for Mike Bilello's removal included one small sentence assuring there was no intent to lump him among the
criminals who were deposed before him. I spoke with many members on Wednesday June 19 at the Local 157
elections. Few had read the veto, others didn't noticed that sentence and no one had facts to support judgement, but
judge him some did anyway. They read something on "the blog". New members didn't know what he has contributed.
Decades of hard work to pave the way for a safe exercise in democracy, are about to go unrecognized and
discounted. A good citizen's reputation will be dragged down. Yet there he was Wednesday, as usual, standing by
while the safe democratic process which he helped to restore was innocently and cheerfully conducted.
I'm just another carpenter, but one of the few who for 30 years has seen the baddest of the bad loot us for decades,
then walk away with a grin. This retiree of 30 years wants you to know that it is an injustice to sweep away a person's
career-long dedication to labor rights because of 5 items construed as serious violations. Sanctioning this particular
veto, at a delicate time for us strikes a blow to our memberships' foundation. I ask you, Your Honor, with all due
respect for your knowledge ofthe law and underst fo d
contribution when focusing your attention on the 'sted veto details which show no selfish motive, neither cost the
membership anything nor caused us any harm.
I know Mike Bilello for 17 years. Never have I kn wn hIm to do anYilimg bui what was honorable.Ail contracts are
signed, the economy is improving, there is much I want us to do it with the EST that we voted for. I want
his good name to be restored, so my newer sister and brothers can know he is trustworthy. If you haven't gotten
many testimonies like mine, it's because not all
others still think that it won't make a difference if ey stand up for what is right and what is fair.
Sincerely,
Lisa Narducci, Member Local 157
Richard M. Berman, U.S.D.J.
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