The Workplace Report

The Feds Want This Teamster Boss Under House Arrest

It could’ve been worse.

harrington-mark

At 62, Mark Harrington, the former secretary-treasurer of Massachusetts’ infamous Teamsters Local 25, probably thought he’d be preparing for retirement instead of facing six months of house arrest.

That is the sentence federal prosecutors are hoping U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock gives Harrington for his role in the 2014 harassment and intimidation of the Bravo network’s cast and crew of Top Chef, according to the Boston Herald.

Federal prosecutors have agreed with Mark Harrington, former secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 25, to recommend he serve six months house arrest when he’s sentenced Thursday for his role in the alleged menacing of a Bravo TV show’s crew over the hiring of union labor.

Harrington, 62, pleaded guilty to attempted extortion in September, a year after he and four other Teamsters were arrested for threatening to shut down a “Top Chef” shoot if the program didn’t hire union workers. The other four are still awaiting trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock will not be bound by the deal when he sentences Harrington; however, prosecutors noted in a memorandum filed Friday that Harrington “had a lesser role in the criminal activity than the other defendants … Mr. Harrington was present with his co-defendants while they were using expletives and menacing the members of the crew, which caused considerable fear on the part of the crew, but himself did not utter any menacing words or make any direct threats.”

The criminal activity that prosecutors say Harrington had a “lesser role” in was the 2014 harassment of the cast and crew of Top Chef over the decision to use non-union labor while filming in Boston.

[W]hen Bravo’s Top Chef began taping at Boston’s Steel & Rye in June, Teamster members from Local 25 greeted the crew and stars with picket signs, verbal abuse, alleged vandalism and even death threats.

When cookbook author, actress, model and ‘Top Chef‘ host Padma Lakshmi appeared at Boston’s Steak & Rye, according to Deadline.com, Teamster picketers got even uglier by threatening the famous host.

The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you f*cking whore!”

Their attacks on the Top Chef crew resulted in five indictments—including that of Harrington. The others, as the Boston Herald notes, are still awaiting trial.

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