BOSTON (AP) — An appeals court has reversed multiple extortion and racketeering convictions against two Teamsters found guilty in 2014 of threatening to picket businesses unless they hired union workers.
The decision handed down Friday by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston found that former Teamsters John Perry and Joseph Burhoe didn’t violate a federal law against using robbery or extortion to influence interstate commerce because the defendants were seeking real jobs for themselves and union members.
The ruling comes after four Teamsters were acquitted last month of threatening “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi and using strong-arm tactics to try to extort jobs from a nonunion company filming the reality TV show in the Boston area.
Prosecutors say they are withholding comment until the decision is reviewed.