Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Powerful former Chicago union boss banished from Teamsters

CHICAGO — One of Chicago’s most powerful labor leaders, before he was indicted on federal charges of extorting $325,000 from a film studio in the city, has been banished from the Teamsters Union.

The Chicago Sun-Times cites records that show International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa approved the recommendation by a panel of union leaders to permanently expel John Coli Sr.

Coli had maintained his union membership even after resigning his leadership positions prior to his indictment last year.

The paper reports that the move follows a hearing in which Coli cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions from a court-appointed union investigator.

Coli is charged with extorting money from Cinespace Chicago Film Studio, which produces NBC series “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.”

Coli has denied any wrongdoing.

–Associated Press

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