Secretary of Labor Raymond J. Donovan agreed yesterday to comply with a Senate subpoena for records of 16 years of investigations into allegations of labor union corruption, but hedged the promise with reservations that may prove unacceptable, sources said. h
There was no immediate response from Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) who demanded the records for his Senate Labor Committee in a subpoena that fell due yesterday morning.
Sources close to Hatch said, however, that the letter Donovan sent to the committee Monday night in lieu of many of the documents appeared to be unacceptable. The letter was said to have included what amounted to a denial of number of documents, including general intelligence files of Labor's organized crime investigations going back to 1966.
The subpoena lists 37 categories of records that the committee wants. Most concern the Labor Department's lapsed investigation of the $2.2 billion Teamsters Central States Pension Fund and its reputed ties to organized crime.
Hearings last year before the Senate permanent investigations subcommittee showed that a five-year investigation of the fund, started under President Ford, was sidetracked during the Carter administration which chose to rely on civil litigation to clear up problems of mismanagement.
In that connection, Donovan moved yesterday to broaden the government's allegations against the fund in a civil suit accusing Teamsters President Frank Fitzsimmons and 18 other former pension fund officials of having "caused great financial harm" to the fund through "a series of questionable loan transactions."
The suit was filed in 1978 after Fitzsimmons and other trustees of the fund had resigned under government pressure. But the case has yet to come to trial.