The court-appointed administrator charged with overseeing the cleanup of the Teamsters yesterday accused union President William J. McCarthy of "extorting the rights" of the membership by using a questionable bidding process to award his son-in-law a $300,000-a-month contract to print the Teamster magazine.

Frederick B. Lacey ordered the union to rebid the contract and said he was referring the case to the Justice Department to determine if McCarthy had acted to obstruct the investigation of the contract.

In a scathing attack against McCarthy and the union director of communications, Duke Zeller, who awarded the contract, Lacey outlined what he called "a strange bidding process" that exposes McCarthy to liability under federal racketeering laws.

At issue is the award of the printing contract for the nearly 2 million-circulation magazine to Windsor Graphics, a printing firm set up by McCarthy's daughter, son-in-law and a former sales representative shortly after McCarthy became union president in 1988. The company, which is operated out of a home, never had a printing contract before winning the Teamster job.

McCarthy's daughter and son-in-law have since sold the company to one of their original partners in the deal. There was no indication in the report how much money the couple received from the sale.

Lacey said, "I find that, from the beginning of the bidding process, the {International Brotherhood of Teamsters} general president and its director of communications distorted the bidding process to enable them to award the magazine printing to Windsor, even though it was only a newly formed company without any printing equipment."

Neither McCarthy nor Zeller was available for comment yesterday. All queries were referred to Teamster general counsel James Grady, who also was unavailable.

Lacey accused the union of soliciting two other bids simply to provide cover for the Windsor award. "To have done this without a pretense of competitive bidding would have been too obviously outrageous," Lacey said, particularly since the union was about to go to trial on civil racketeering charges filed by the Justice Department.

The racketeering case was subsequently settled and Lacey was appointed by the court to oversee efforts to rid the union of corruption and hold direct, secret-ballot membership elections of union officers later this year.

Lacey said that before he issued his report, McCarthy, through his attorneys, had said he was prepared to terminate the printing contract and submit it for new bids. Lacey said he was pleased with that decision, but said he would supervise the new bidding process.

Lacey charged that McCarthy and Zeller secretly gave the Windsor bid preferential treatment not accorded other bidders by guaranteeing payment to Windsor's suppliers for any bills unpaid after 30 days. Lacey said the guarantees were made in advance of the bidding.

In addition, Lacey said the union agreed to advance Windsor $1.3 million for the new company to pay its paper suppliers. The paper suppliers would not provide credit to Windsor at the time because the printing firm was a new company. Windsor did not pay interest on the $1.3 million, according to Lacey.

Lacey said that as a result of the Windsor contract the union has been "victimized" by the financial loss caused by the lack of competitive bidding for the printing and subsequent costs the union was forced to pay for markups and overcharges for labels and color separations.