Edward Grady Partin
|Edward Grady Partin, Sr.|
February 27, 1924|
|Died||March 11, 1990
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Cause of death||Cardiovascular disease and diabetes|
|Resting place||Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Baton Rouge|
|Occupation||Teamsters business agent|
Glenda Gail Lang
Grady Edward Partin
embezzlement to extortion to manslaughter. Many of the earlier cases against him were not pursued because of the immunized testimony that he offered against Hoffa.
Edward Grady Partin, Sr. (February 27, 1924 – March 11, 1990), was a business agent of the Teamsters Union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His testimony in 1964 helped to convict union president James Riddle Hoffa of jury tampering.
Partin was born to Grady Edward Partin (1899–1967) and Bessie M. Partin Foster (1905–2003) in Woodville in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, adjacent to the Louisiana border. He was a dishonorably discharged Marine. His first arrest was for burglary of a house. In 1961, members of Local 5 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Partin was affiliated for thirty years, charged him with embezzlement of union funds. The 600-pound safe in which union records were stored was found in the bottom of a river. Two who testified against Partin were beaten, and one later was killed by a truck.
On June 27, 1962, Partin was indicted on twenty-six counts of embezzling union funds and falsifying records, but was released on bond. On August 14, 1962, Partin was sued for damages for having driven his car off the road and leaving the scene of an accident, having injured two persons and killed a third. He was then indicted for first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. He was also indicted in another case for aggravated kidnapping. On October 7, 1962, he posted $60,000 in bail in all three cases, embezzlement, manslaughter, and kidnapping, then met with Hoffa to discuss union matters. Thereafter, he emerged as the surprise star witness against Hoffa, having obtained the information on jury tampering from an unexpected stranger in a bar. The Justice Department granted Partin retroactive immunity from prosecution, but Partin denied that he was paid a fee by the government to testify against Hoffa. However, Partin's former wife, the mother of five of his children, received $300 per month, the amount of her alimony, from the Justice Department. Wade McClanahan, a government witness, said that Partin threatened to have him killed if McClanahan went forward with testimony against the Teamsters business agent.
Partin and Hoffa
Partin claimed that Hoffa, his former associate, offered him $20,000 to fix the jury at Hoffa's trial in 1962 on taking kickbacks from a trucking company. United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy led the prosecution of Hoffa, but the 1962 trial ended in a hung jury. Hoffa was, however, imprisoned in 1967 on the jury-tampering conviction. James Neal, a prosecutor in the 1962 trial in Chattanooga, Tennessee, said that when Partin entered the courtroom, Hoffa exclaimed, "My God, it's Partin," hence expressing surprise that Partin would testify against Hoffa."
According to trutv.com, New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello in 1960 transferred $500,000 in cash to Hoffa to divert the money to the presidential campaign of Republican Richard M. Nixon, who lost to then U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy. Early in 1962, Hoffa had disclosed plans to Partin for the murders of President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
Aubrey W. Young, former aide to Governor John J. McKeithen, arranged a meeting at which Partin was offered first, $25,000 a year for ten years, then $1 million from Marcello to work out a plan to overturn the Hoffa conviction. Hoffa's allies, among them film actor and decorated World War II veteran Audie Murphy, sought to obtain an affidavit from Partin recanting the testimony against Hoffa. Such a confession could have reopened the case.
Edwin Edwards, who was elected governor of Louisiana in 1972, had expressed concern that the controversial Partin might endorse his candidacy, a development that Edwards, then a U.S. representative from Crowley feared. "Since Partin was in so much legal trouble, his endorsement would be political poison," Edwards recalled."
U.S. v. Partin
Thereafter, the post-Robert Kennedy U.S. Justice Department spent eleven years prosecuting Partin on five counts of antitrust and extortion in connection with labor troubles during the late 1960s in the Baton Rouge area. In March 1979, Partin was convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice by hiding witnesses and arranging for perjured testimony.
A much earlier Partin trial, which began on June 14, 1971, in Butte, Montana, ended without a verdict. Twenty-four days later, the judge declared a mistrial as a result of a deadlock among jurors. The case was then reassigned to U.S. District Judge James F. Battin, a Republican former member of the United States House of Representatives, whose court was located in the Billings division. Battin granted a change of venue to Atlanta, Georgia, for the convenience of both witnesses and counsel. Partin's second trial, with Battin still presiding, hence began in Atlanta on January 31, 1972. Judge Battin dismissed one of the five counts, but Partin was convicted after eighteen days of trial and two other days of deliberations of the remaining four counts.
In June 1980, Partin was finally imprisoned for extortion. While imprisoned in 1984, he pleaded nolo contendere to charges of conspiracy, racketeering, and the embezzlement of some $450,000 in union funds stemming from a 1973 indictment. Union members once voted to continue paying Partin's salary while he was in prison, but his tenure as the business agent ended in 1981.
Known for his tough negotiation style with business and government, Partin was involved in many labor disputes. He commonly packed courtrooms with Teamsters to demonstrate union solidarity. He was accused, along with Ted Dunham, Jr., of having attempted to monopolize the Baton Rouge concrete industry during a strike against Bulk Transport.
In 1978, Partin organized workers of the Department of Public Works of the Baton Rouge City-Parish government. In 1979, during a teachers' strike in Baton Rouge, Partin placed non-teaching personnel on picket lines in support of the strike. The teachers, however, asked Partin to remove the pickets, and the strike was soon resolved.
Partin once spent six months in jail for contempt of court on the order of U.S. District Judge E. Gordon West of Baton Rouge. Partin had disobeyed West's order that the Teamsters stop picketing at Delta Concrete.
On November 27, 1968, in Uvalde, Texas, Partin, at forty-four, married the 29-year-old former Frances Kay Anselmo. This was not a first marriage for Partin. The couple subsequently divorced. His obituary mentions no spouses.
In his later years, Partin resided in McComb, Mississippi. In January 1990, Partin was admitted to a hospital in Orlando, Florida, because of circulatory problems in his legs. After an unsuccessful operation, he spent a week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a daughter, Janice P. Barlow. He then was admitted to a hospital in Hammond, Louisiana, and finally to the Guest House nursing home on Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge. There Partin died at the age of sixty-six of complications from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Survivors included his mother, Bessie Foster of Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish; five daughters, Janice Barlow of Tulsa, Glenda Gail Lang of Rialto, California, Cynthia Mitchen of Houston, Texas, Teresa P. Gaydos of Baton Rouge, and Brenda P. Canton Kyzar of McComb, Mississippi; two sons, Edward Partin, Jr., then of Little Rock, Arkansas, and later of Slaughter, Louisiana, and Byron Keith Partin of Baker, later of Ethel in East Feliciana Parish; two sisters, Hazel P. Chancellor (1929-2008) of Sugar Land, Texas, and later Malvern, Arkansas, and Sandra Ann Partin Guy of Baker; two brothers, Donald L. Partin, Sr. (1927–1999), and his wife, Vivian Roberts Partin, of Crosby, Mississippi, and Douglas Wesley Partin, Sr. (born c. 1930) of Baton Rouge and later Crosby, Mississippi; fifteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
A Partin nephew, Prentiss Joe Partin (1949-2011), the son of Donald and Vivian Partin, was a native of Centreville, Mississippi, and a teacher, coach, principal and East Baton Rouge Parish school administrator from Zachary, Louisiana.
Honorary pallbearers included former Baton Rouge Mayor-President Woodrow Wilson Dumas and Billy Cannon, a Baton Rouge dentist and a former star football player at Louisiana State University. Partin is interred at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Baton Rouge.
Douglas Partin had succeeded his brother as business agent for Teamsters Local 5 in Baton Rouge, a post that Ed Partin had occupied for three decades. Doug Partin said of his brother: "We all know that he made mistakes. We all do. So many people either hated him or loved him. There was no in-between. . . . "
- J. Minos Simon, a Partin attorney
- "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
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- "Thomas J. Jones, "Carlos Marcello: Big Daddy in the Big Easy"". trutv.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Sandy Smith. The Fix. Life Magazine (Google Books). Retrieved April 28, 2010.
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- "Earl Golz, "Audie Murphy struggled to free Hoffa"" (PDF). Dallas Morning News, January 25, 1974. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Leo Honeycutt, Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana, Lisburn Press, 2009, p. 104
- "U.S. Court of Appeals: Cases and Opinions". cases.justia.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Curt Eysink, "Ex-Teamsters chief Partin dies", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, March 12, 1990, pp. 1, 5A
- "Vital Records - Uvalde County, TX - Marriages 1968". usgwarchives.org. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "Obituaries: Barlow and Related Families". Baton Rouge State Times, March 12, 1990, p. 6-!. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Prentiss Joe Partin obituary". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011.