The International Longshoreman’s Association Local 1588, the union that Bayonne Assemblyman William Sampson (D-31) is a part of, voted last night to spend up to $50,000 in an effort to get his license back.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The meeting came hours after Sampson appeared before the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor yesterday, with attorney Robert Fagella arguing that Sampson’s duties in Trenton are a part of serving his union, as Politico reported in a subscriber exclusive story.
The commission ruled at the end of last year that Sampson’s duties as a state legislator did not meet “good cause” for repeated absences for his duties as a crane operator at the Global Container Terminal, a decision he asked them to reconsider.
The ILA held an emergency meeting at The Chandelier restaurant in Bayonne, located at 1081 Broadway, at 5 p.m., sources familiar with the situation, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told HCV.
While the resolution the union approved was not put in writing, those same sources indicated the $50,000 would be spent on legal expenses for Sampson’s WCNYH appeal and/or for public relations services related to the situation.
One source said it was “unusual” that the union called the emergency meeting after the commissioner hearing since Fagella serves as counsel to the ILA and membership was not informed if Sampson paid for his representation earlier in the day out of pocket or not.
Furthermore, the same source said it was a 50/50 proposition on whether or not the commission, who the union believes typically takes a hard-nosed stance on port workers, would reverse their earlier decision on Sampson.
The WCNYH is expected to decide on the appeal before the end of the month.
The freshman assemblyman, 33, replaced Assembly Majority Whip Nick Chiaravalloti last year after the incumbent had a falling out with Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, the particulars of which have never made it into the public arena to this day.
ILA leadership could not be reached for comment on Thursday.