Under pressure from union officials, New Jersey wants to pull out of a bistate commission charged with uncovering crime and corruption on New York Harbor’s waterfront, but New York has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene to prevent New Jersey from unilaterally ending the agreement.
There is a long history showing a connection between the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) and organized crime in New Jersey and New York. As recently as 2010, an ILA official, several shop stewards, and foreman were arrested for extorting money from union members on behalf of the Genovese Organized Crime Family.
Corruption and crime in the harbor led New York and New Jersey to create the Waterfront Commission, which investigates potential corruption and also oversees the hiring of dock workers.
New York’s petition to the court says the commission’s work has prevented “the infiltration of the port by hundreds of people who were convicted of serious crimes…or who were members of, or associated with, known organized crime families.”
Supreme Court justices will decide if New Jersey can break its agreement with New York on its own, or if both states must agree to dissolve the commission.