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Former Teamsters Local 743 President Heading to Jail

By staff

On March 23, Robert Walston, former Local 743 president, pled guilty to stealing two union elections and attempting to purchase $150,000 of cocaine.

Members of Local 743 remember the stolen 2004 elections very well. They might recall a flier distributed with statements by one of his supporters. It read, “I am for Mr. Walston because as a true union leader, he puts the union and the members first.”

The 2004 flier went on, “I support and endorse Local President Robert Walston and am confident in Mr. Walston and the entire 743 Unity Slate. I believe that their honesty, fairness, experience and toughness will best serve this local and our membership.”

Putting the interests of the members above his own; an honest man; a fair man; a tough union leader with experience; Walston sounded great, didn’t he?

The Real Bob Walston – A Gangster

In his March 23 plea, Walston admits that in 2004 he and his co-conspirators, including Richard Lopez, the recording secretary on the 743 Unity Slate, knowingly conspired to use the United States mails to steal and convert to their own use property and other assets of Local 743.

In the plea agreement, Walston explains exactly how his gang stole ballots from hundreds of members of the local, in two consecutive elections, to ‘vote’ them for his Unity Slate. In the plea, he names the others who were involved – Cassandra Mosley, Ted Bania, David Rodriquez and Mark Jones – his loyal supporters.

Walston admits that the cost to the members in salaries and benefits for their slate was $2.2 million over the three-year terms of office.

And he admits to having set out in May 2007 with a cousin of staff member Rodriquez to purchase five kilos of coke for $150,000.

Members of the local who supported the reformers in the 743 New Leadership Slate have known for years that the old guard in the local were gangsters. Richard Berg was elected in 2007 after Walston and his gang were indicted – and prevented from stealing another election. With that, a degree of justice came to the union members. This guilty plea and resulting jail time for Walston is a little more.

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