Clipped From Ukiah Daily Journal

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 - Friday, Stptembar 23, ^93', JACK ANDERSON...
Friday, Stptembar 23, ^93', JACK ANDERSON Witnesses who hide WASHINGTON — When Waiter Mungovan telephones, his wife never ipiows wh6re he is and and she never asks: Mungovan is in hiding, ndt because he's.a criminal, but because the Justice Department believes his life is in danger Unlike others hi the federal witness protection program, Mungovan must be soiaratM from his wife and thehr 12-year-old son. She has filed suit against the people the Mungovans hold responsbUe for the family's plight. So she has to be available for court appearances and fimd- rafsing efforts to fhiance thehr lonely fi^t. Mungovan has not been permitted to talk with reporters shice he entered the witness protection program, but he relayed a message to my associates Dale Van Atta and Indy BacDiwar. My associates have been investigathig the case for thr^ months. "I am in the position of being cut off from my family, whom I dearly love, through no fault of my own," Mungovan s&id. "I can't justify what has happened to me when all I did was work hard and try to make arthonestliving..." How did this, happen to Mungovan? A memorandum filed 4n federal court last July by U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Bent lays the blame squarely on officials of the Carpenters union in Hawaii. " -a "(They) were the driving forces behhid the destruction of a man, a family, a business iand an ideal," the prosecutor wrote. "They transformed Walter Mungovan, a combat veteran, a carpenter and a successful contractor, into a man whose busmess and family life were virtually virtually destroyed, and into a man who feared for the safety of himiself and his bushiesS: They bullied him, they threatehec} him, they shut him down and they willfully and maliciously perjured themselves. They deserve to be severely punished." punished." In fact, two imion officals have been convicted of perjury and two others are facing trial. But It is the Mungovans who have been punished most severely. After 13 years as a carpenter and union member, Mungovan went into business for himself in 1979. Withm a yer, his construction company had 20 employees and was still growing. growing. Then the Carpenters union decided to organize Mungovan's employees. Picket lines went up at the company's work sites, charging that Mungovan was paying substandard wages. But the employees, who were actually paid at or above union scale, voted unanimously not to join the union. That should have ended the picketing. In federal court last year, Mungovan testified that union officials indicated the pickets would remain until he signed up. ' At one point, Mungovan testified, a union official told him that another contractor's work site would be "torched" "torched" if he didn't unionize — a remark Mungovan interpreted as a threat against his own company as well. The months of picketing were slowly wrecking Mungovan's fledgling firm. But the decorated First Air Cavalry veteran decided to fight back. He gave the FBI affidavits and secretly-taped conversations with union officials. That's when the Justice Department decided Mungovan must go into hiding. His business is now runied, and he is more than $30,000 hi debt. His British-born wife, Cher, came to Washington to speak to members of Congress, and hopes to be able to make a personal appeal to the president for help.,.I'm the wife of an hmo- cent man who cannot ask, but needs your help. 1

Clipped from
  1. Ukiah Daily Journal,
  2. 23 Sep 1983, Fri,
  3. Page 4

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