The ongoing election at Teamsters Local 399 has taken a violent turn, according to a report filed with the Burbank Police Department, which is investigating an alleged election-related assault September 12 outside Warner Bros Studios.
Retired Teamster Ray Holmgren told detectives he was handing out fliers outside the studio in support of Mitch Masoner, who’s running for secretary-treasurer against incumbent Steve Dayan, when he was assaulted by Flint Hardman, who sometimes serves as an unofficial sergeant-at-arms at Local 399 membership meetings.
Hardman could not be reached for comment, but a source at the local says that he flatly denies the allegation. “He said he never touched the guy,” a source told Deadline.
It’s not the first time, Masoner said, that Hardman has allegedly been involved in a physical altercation with another Teamster. In May 2014, Dayan posted a statement on the local’s website ordering his members to stop fistfighting on movie sets.
According to Masoner, Dayan was referring to an incident involving Hardman. “He punched Randy Roberg and knocked him out,” Masoner said. “And then Steve made him his sergeant-at-arms at membership meetings. He’s Steve’s enforcer.”
No charges were ever brought against Hardman, with Masoner claiming that Roberg was “coerced” into not filing a complaint.
Masoner, who has a long history of filing complaints against his local, says he’s filed an election protest because “Flint’s been threatening people on my side.”
Masoner says he called off a rally and fundraiser Sunday in Sylmar “due to threats of violence.” He said that five supporters who didn’t receive the notice that the event had been canceled showed up anyway, and one subsequently received threatening phone call from Hardman.
“He was stalking the place,” Masoner said. “He knew who came to the event. He made threatening phone calls this morning, saying they’d better back off.”
The local’s election turned ugly recently when someone spray-painted a scurrilous allegation about Dayan on a traffic control box near his home. An earlier report here that said that Dayan’s home had been vandalized turned out not to be true – it was the traffic box that was vandalized.
Dayan declined comment for this report, saying that he and his slate of running mates are determined to run a positive campaign based on their accomplishments, which includes signing more than 1,000 film, TV, commercial and new media productions to the union’s contracts during the past three years. And as chairman of the California Film Commission, Dayan successfully lobbied for the tripling of California’s film tax incentives, which has helped keep or bring back thousands for jobs to the state, including hundreds of jobs for members of Local 399.
The website for Dayan’s slate of candidates, called 399 Members First, also notes that the local has eliminated its $400,000 deficit and now has “a positive balance for the first time in five years.”