In 1921 a bi-state agency (The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor) between New Jersey and New York was created to oversee and police the waterfront piers and harbors of New Jersey and New York. The power of this bi-state agency cannot be overstated. Anyone who is employed as a Longshoreman, Checker, or Maintenance man are required to have a waterfront pass issued by the Waterfront Commission.
The Waterfront Commission is an extremely powerful agency which not only enforces the laws and regulations of the Waterfront
Commission Act, but decides which persons possess the moral integrity to hold these longshoreman position.
Proceedings before the Waterfront Commission are very serious affairs and can determine whether someone obtains a Waterfront Pass, and once obtain keeps that pass. Losing one's pass is tantamount to losing one's livelihood.
Published opinions in which convictions have been overturned and defendants have been exonerated by Attorney Sanzone include.
The Waterfront Commission is staffed by commission attorneys who are trained in various law enforcement and police invesitgative techniques. In essence they are trained as prosecutors and law enforcement investigators. Their job simply is to obtain any and all information regarding any illegal activities on the ports and piers, and to revoke the registration of any longshoreman which they deem not to have good character. Lack of good character according to the Waterfront attorneys can be as little as testing positive for an illegal substance in a registrant's urine sample, being charged or arrested for a crime or disorderly person's offense, whether or not the charge or arrest results in a conviction, or assocating with a person on the ILA Barred List.
Therefore, if you are called to be interviewed or questioned before the Waterfront Commission it is essential that you are represented by competent legal counsel knowledgeable about the Waterfront Act and its proceedings.
Attorney Sanzone has represented many individuals before the Waterfront Commission and has been successful in many cases allowing these individuals to keep their Waterfront pass, and remain working.
If you have a matter before the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, or called in by a staff attorney to be interviewed, you must consult with an experienced Waterfront attorney before it is to late, because your job might depend on the legal represenation you receive.
Organized Crime Association Cases
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor has recently taken a strong stance against any checkers, longshoreman or maintenance man being associated with or dealing with any named organized crime figure.
The Commission recently revoked the waterfront passes of hiring agent Pasquale Pontoriero and longshoreman Margaret Margo Dillin for assocating with known organized crime figures. The longshoreman ethical standards committee publishes a bar list of all person's in which knowingly associatation with would result in the revocation of his or her waterfront pass. This list is not inclusive and longshoreman are required to disassocate themselves with individuals with a criminal record.
If you are charged with associating with an organized crime figure as a checker, longshoreman or maintenace worker by the Waterfront Commission you need the legal assistance of an experienced Waterfront Attorney who has handled these types of cases before the Commission. Attorney Sanzone has 23 years experience in representing New Jersey longshoreman.
Knowing Association with Convicted Felonies Can Lead to Revocation of Waterfront Pass
Part II, §5-i of the Waterfront Act which has been adopted by the states of New Jersey and New York prohibits any longshoreman, checker or maintenance person with a waterfront pass from associating:
“with a person who has been identified by a federal, state or local enforcement agency as a member or associate of an organized crime group, terrorist group, or a career offender cartel, or who is a career offender, under circumstances where such association creates a reasonable belief that the participation of the licensee or registrant in any activity required to be licensed or registered under this act would be inimical to the policies of this act.” (Waterfront Commission Act, Part II, §5-i)
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor through its administrative judges has interpreted this provision to be one of strict liability. Stated differently, that any knowing association, which is voluntarily and planed, will result in one’s revocation of his or her waterfront pass.
Note, the ILA’s Ethical Practices Counsel has published a black list of “barred individuals, pursuant to Article VI of the ILA Code of Ethics. No officer of any union should knowingly associate with any of the individuals who have been placed on the barred list. Although this list applies to union officials only, the Waterfront Commission has held that also unit members, other than union officials, are also prohibited from associating with person on this list. In one recent case the Waterfront used this list as evidence of associate of a checker with someone on the list. The updated published list dated June 6, 2011 can be seen at. (The “Barred List”)
Recent Cases and Notes Regarding Waterfront Commission
Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., was recently successful in keeping a security guard from losing his Waterfront Pass and won before the Waterfront Law Judge on November 28, 2017. The Waterfront adopted the judge's decision and all charges against the Licensee were dismissed. The security guard was charged with not having good character after he was charged with domestic violence and a disorderly person's offense which was later dismissed. The Commission sought to revoke the security guard's license to work on the piers in Brooklyn.
New York Supreme Court reverses Administrative Law Judge and Waterfront Commission's Decision to Revoke Registration of Margaret Dillin of Bayonne, N.J. (See Decision of New York Supreme Court
Alleged Organized Crime Association Case, Revoking Registration of Checker on Appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Appellate Division. (See Decision of Administrative Law Judge for Waterfront Commission)
New Jersey Appellate Division in the case decided January 7, 2015, In the Matter of Commission Proceedings on Revocation of License of Pasquale Pontoriero, rejects the Waterfront Commission definition of "inimical association", with an organized crime figure. This case is the first case which defines inimical association, and this case rejected the Commission's interpretation of "strict liability." See Copy of this decision in full.