Edward Grady Partin

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Edward Grady Partin, Sr.​

(Teamsters union business agent
Offered immunized testimony that sent Jimmy Hoffa to prison

Political party Democrat

Born February 27, 1924​
Woodville
Wilkinson County
Mississippi, USA
Died March 11, 1990 (aged 66)​
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Spouse (1) Divorced​

(2) Frances Kay Anselmo Partin (married 1968, divorced)​
Children from first marriage:
Glenda Gail Lang
Cynthia P. Mitchen
Janice P. Barlow
Teresa P. Gaydos
Brenda Partin Kyzar
Edward G. Partin, Jr.
Byron Keith Partin
Parents:
Grady Edward Partin
​ Bessie Partin Foster ​

Edward Grady Partin, Sr. (February 27, 1924 – March 11, 1990),[1] was a business agent of the Teamsters union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His testimony in 1964 helped to convict union president Jimmy Hoffa of jury tampering.[2]

Background

​ Partin was born to Grady Edward Partin (1899–1967) and Bessie M. Partin Foster (1905–2003)[1] in Woodville in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, adjacent to the Louisiana border.[3]

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.[4]

On June 27, 1962, Partin was indicted on twenty-six counts of embezzlement of union funds and falsifying records, but was released on bond.[4] 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.[4] Wade J. McClanahan (1924-1986), a government witness, said that Partin threatened to have him killed if McClanahan went forward with testimony against the Teamsters business agent.[4]​ ​

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."[2]

According to Trutv.com, New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello (1910-1993) in 1960 transferred $500,000 in cash to Hoffa to divert the money to the unsuccessful presidential campaign of the Republican nominee, 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.[5]

Aubrey W. Young, a 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.[6][7] Hoffa's allies, among them film actor and decorated World War II veteran Audie Murphy (1925-1971), sought to obtain an affidavit from Partin recanting the testimony against Hoffa. Such a confession could have reopened the case.[8]

Edwin Edwards, who was elected governor of Louisiana in 1972 to the first of four nonconsecutive terms, had expressed concern that the controversial Partin might endorse his candidacy, a development that Edwards, then a U.S. Representative from Louisiana's since disbanded 7th congressional district,feared could hurt the gubernatorial campaign.[9]​ ​ ==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.[2]

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.[10]

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.[2][11]

U.S. District Judge John Parker subsequently reduced Partin's sentence, and he was released to a halfway house in 1986.[2][11]

Other issues

​ 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.[11]

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, he 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.[11]

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.[11]

Death

On November 27, 1968, in Uvalde, Texas, Partin, at forty-four, married the 29-year-old former Frances Kay Anselmo.[12] This was not a first marriage for Partin. The couple subsequently divorced.

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.[11]

Survivors included his mother, Bessie Foster, then 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 in East Felician Parish, and Byron Keith Partin of Baker, later of Ethel in East Feliciana Parish; two sisters, Hazel E. Chancellor (born 1926) of Sugar Land, Texas, and Sandra Ann Foster Guy of Baker; two brothers, Donald L. Partin, Sr. (1927–1999),[1] and his wife, Vivian Roberts Partin, of Crosby, Mississippi, and Douglas Wesley Partin, Sr. (born 1930) of Baton Rouge and later Crosby, Mississippi; fifteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.[13]​ ​ A Partin nephew, Prentiss Joe Partin (1949-2011), the son of Donald and Vivian Partin and a native of Centreville, Mississippi, was a teacher, coach, principal, and East Baton Rouge Parish school administrator from Zachary, Louisiana.[14]

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.[13] Partin is interred at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Baton Rouge.[13]

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.[11] 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. . . . "[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Social Security Death Index. ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved on May 5, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Edward Partin, 66; Union Aide Became Anti-Hoffa Witness. The New York Times (March 13, 1990). Retrieved on September 3, 2019.
  3. Obituaries for Sept. 2, 1990. The Natchez (Mississippi) Democrat. Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Ralph de Toledano. "The Partin Case: Justice Bound". Google.com. Retrieved on May 7, 2001.
  5. Thomas J. Jones, "Carlos Marcello: Big Daddy in the Big Easy". trutv.com. Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  6. Sandy Smith. The Fix. Google Books. Retrieved on April 28, 2010. 
  7. Walter Sheridan. Louisiana Hayride. jfk-online.com. Retrieved on April 28, 2010.
  8. Earl Golz (January 25, 1974). "Audie Murphy struggled to free Hoffa". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved on September 3, 2019.
  9. Leo Honeycutt, Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana (Lisburn Press, 2009), p. 104.
  10. U.S. Court of Appeals: Cases and Opinions. cases.justia.com. Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 "Curt Eysink, "Ex-Teamsters chief Partin dies," The Baton Rouge Advocate, March 12, 1990, pp. 1, 5A.
  12. Vital Records - Uvalde County, TX - Marriages 1968. usgwarchives.org. Retrieved on March 9, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Obituaries: Barlow and Related Families. Baton Rouge State Times (March 12, 1990). Retrieved on May 7, 2010.
  14. Prentiss Joe Partin obituary. The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate (March 9, 2011). Retrieved on March 9, 2011.

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