Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said yesterday that, because the House left town without passing an anti-racketeering bill, a co-defendant of Teamsters President Roy Lee Williams will be able to keep collecting fees of $900,000 per month from the union's health and welfare fund while appealing his conviction.
Hatch, chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, was critical of the House for burying the bill, twice passed unanimously by the Senate. The legislation was supported by AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland and Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan. The bill stalled in a House Labor subcommittee headed by Rep. Phillip Burton (D-Calif.).
The bill would have barred convicted persons from holding union office or having dealings with union pension or health funds. Under current law, such a prohibition takes effect only after a convicted person has exhausted all appeals.
Williams and four defendants, including Chicago insurance executive Allen M. Dorfman, were convicted Dec. 15 of conspiring to bribe Sen. Howard W. Cannon (D-Nev.) with a Las Vegas real estate deal for help on legislation affecting trucking.
Dorfman's firm, Amalgamated Insurance Agencies Services Inc., receives $900,000 monthly for administrative services in processing health and welfare claims, according to George Lehr, executive director of the $4.4 billion Teamsters Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund.
"The appellate process can take two to three years," Hatch said in a news release, and payments to Dorfman and Dorfman's firm in that period "might ultimately exceed $30 million."
But Lehr said the Central States trustees are taking steps to break their contract with Dorfman. "I'm not disagreeing with Sen. Hatch. But I think the problem is being dealt with very sternly by the trustees."
Outside analysts have suggested terms under which the trustees might buy out Dorfman's contract.
In September, the scandal-racked Teamster fund entered into a consent decree with the Department of Labor and agreed to the appointment of former attorney general and senator William B. Saxbe as independent special counsel to the fund.
"We want a new day," Lehr said of the fund's managers. But he said that cannot happen "until we sever ties with Dorfman." CAPTION: Picture, ALLEN M. DORFMAN . . . firm receives $900,000 a month