ILA replaces ethics counsel

ILA replaces ethics counsel

The International Longshoremen's Association has a new ethical practices counsel, following the appointment of former New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Mollen to succeed Michael F. Armstrong, who was named to the post last December.

Mollen's appointment on May 1 was announced to ILA members in a letter from the union's president, John Bowers. No reason for the switch was given. Bowers said, however, there would be "no change in policy" and that Mollen would have "full authority to investigate allegations of organized crime, corruption and violations of" ILA rules against association with mobsters. Those rules were established last year when the ILA adopted a code of ethics.

The code of ethics, and the appointment of an independent ethical practices counsel, were in response to federal investigations of alleged organized-crime influence in the union. Bowers has denied that the union is under mob control.

Mollen, the new ethical practices counsel, is a former presiding justice of the New York Supreme Court's appellate division and chaired a special commission to investigate corruption in the New York Police Department. He also is a federal-appointed monitor and corruption counsel for Local 282 of the Teamsters union. His predecessor, Armstrong, is a New York attorney and former chief counsel to the Knapp Commission, which investigated New York police corruption in the 1970s.