Former Ironworkers Business Agent Gets Eight-Year Sentence
PHILADELPHIA—Edward Sweeney, 56, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for his role in the RICO conspiracy involving members of Ironworkers Local 401. Sweeney pleaded guilty on September 30, 2014 to RICO conspiracy, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, use of fire to commit a felony, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, conspiracy to maliciously damage property by means of fire, and attempted maliciously damaging property by means of fire. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson also ordered restitution of $217,000, three years of supervised release, and a $600 special assessment.
Sweeney was a business agent for the Ironworkers Local 401 when he participated in a series of incidents as part of a plan to force non-union contractors to hire union labor. He participated in 10 incidents of extortion or attempted extortion and was involved in the Quaker Meetinghouse arson, an arson on Grays Avenue in Philadelphia, and an attempted arson in Malvern, all of which were in retaliation for contractors’ failure to hire union ironworkers. Sweeney is the 9th defendant to be sentenced in the case.
The case was investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, with assistance provided by the Philadelphia Police Department Corruption Task Force, East Whiteland Township Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Employee Benefit Security Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore with legal assistance provided by Gerald Toner, Acting Deputy Chief for Labor-Management Racketeering, Organized Crime and Gang Section at the Department of Justice.