A TEAMSTER TEMPEST

WAS A RETIRED JUDGE TOO SOFT IN HIS HANDLING OF AN INVESTIGATION OF LABOR BOSS RON CAREY?

SEVENTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD FREDERICK B. Lacey is America's leading justice-for-rent. The retired federal judge has been hired to lead investigations of sensitive cases ranging from the Iraq-gate scandal to Michael Jordan's gambling activities. But Lacey 's handling of his most challenging role, federal supervision of the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has provoked debate about whether Lacey and his justice Department employers have gone soft in their handling of America's most corrupt union.

Criticism of Lacey's judgment has been building since last July, when he issued a 79-page report exonerating Teamsters boss Ron Carey, a self-styled reformer, from allegations that he is...

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