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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Judge oks subpoenas in laborers union investigation

Advertiser Staff

A federal judge today upheld subpoenas from the U.S. Department seeking financial records from the Hawaiçi laborers union.

But U.S. Magistrate Barry Kurren also ordered the Labor Department to hold off on its requests to obtain a membership roster and phone list for the 3,500-member Laborers' International Union Local 368 until after it reviews the union’s financial records,
“I believe this is a legitimate investigation,” Kurren said.
The Labor Department is investigating whether union officials improperly used laborers’ funds to help candidates during its officers election in July.
The Labor Department has subpoenaed more than 4,000 pages of documents from the union, including timekeeping records, travel expense documents and vehicle use records.
Lawyers for the laborers union have asked Kurren to quash the subpoenas, saying the request for members' phone records violates their rights to privacy.