Forde facing jail time

By Irish Echo Staff

Former New York city carpenters union head, Michael Forde, pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal racketeering charges and is now facing jail time.

Forde, 56, was in court a year after being named in a federal indictment along with several other union members who also entered guilty pleas over recent months.

The Daily News reported that charges carry up to 20 years in prison "but it's expected Forde will get between 9 and 11 1/4 years as part of a cooperation agreement that also calls for him to pay $100,000 in restitution."

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Forde, for many years a prominent face in Irish-American circles, has a long history in the city's labor movement. His father, also Michael Forde, immigrated to the U.S. from County Mayo and helped establish the Local 608 carpenters' union -- often referred to as the "Irish local" -- as one of New York's most prominent and politically powerful labor groups.