A federal jury found Daniel Redmond, John
Fidler, Robert Cafarelli and Michael Ross not guilty of
conspiracy and attempted extortion charges over what prosecutors
called an effort to secure wages for unwanted services from the
The verdict followed a trial that drew attention thanks to the
popular Bravo network cooking competition show and allegations
involving the city's tourism chief at the time, who faces
charges in a separate union-related extortion case.
Defense lawyers celebrated the verdict as showing the Teamsters
Local 25 members were engaged in legitimate picketing to push
for real jobs.
"These gentlemen were executing their right to protest in favor
of real jobs for union workers," said Oscar Cruz, Redmond's
Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb expressed disappointment,
calling the Teamsters' conduct "an affront to all of the
hard-working and law-abiding members of organized labor."
Prosecutors had claimed the Teamsters used homophobic and racial
slurs and violent threats to try to secure pay for unnecessary
services from the "Top Chef" production company during filming
around the Boston area.
Prosecutors said Redmond on June 5, 2014, approached the show's
crew while it was filming at a hotel, demanded union members be
hired as drivers and told a producer to call Mark Harrington,
his union supervisor.
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They said after another hotel worried about picketing withdrew from
participating in the show, production company Magical Elves switched
to filming that June 10 at the Steel & Rye restaurant in the suburb
Prosecutors said after Harrington, Redmond, Fidler, Cafarelli and
Ross showed up, Teamsters threatened crew members, slashed tires and
swarmed a van bringing Lakshmi to the set.
Prosecutors said Fidler then told her, "I'll smash your pretty
Harrington was sentenced in December to six months in prison after
Before the Milton incident, prosecutors said Kenneth Brissette, the
city's tourism head under Mayor Martin Walsh, withheld permits to
push for the Teamsters' hiring.
Brissette has pleaded not guilty to separate charges he tried to
withhold city permits for a music festival using non-union workers.
Walsh, a Democrat and ex-union leader, has said he expects his
administration's members to obey the law.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by David Gregorio and
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