Edward Grady Partin, 66; Was Key Witness Against Hoffa

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Edward Grady Partin, the labor leader whose testimony sent Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa to prison in 1967 and who himself was convicted of extortion, has died at 66.

Partin, who died Sunday at a nursing home here, suffered from heart disease and diabetes.

A native of Woodville, Miss., Partin was business manager of Teamsters Local 5 in Baton Rouge for 30 years.

Partin, a close associate of Hoffa, helped then-Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy convict the Teamsters boss in 1964 of jury tampering. Partin testified that Hoffa had offered him $20,000 to fix the jury at Hoffa’s 1962 trial on charges of taking kickbacks from a trucking company. That trial ended in a hung jury, but Hoffa eventually was convicted of jury tampering and mail fraud and served nearly five years in federal prison.


James Neal, a prosecutor in the jury-tampering trial in Chattanooga, Tenn., said that when Partin walked in the courtroom, Hoffa gasped, “My God, it’s Partin!”

The government later spent several years and three trials prosecuting Partin on labor corruption charges before he went to prison in 1980 for conspiracy to obstruct justice by hiding witnesses and arranging for perjured testimony.

While in prison, he pleaded no contest to conspiracy, racketeering and embezzling $450,000 in union money. He was released to a halfway house in 1986.

Union members at one time voted to continue paying his salary while he was in prison. He was removed from office in 1981.

Survivors include his mother, two brothers, a sister, five daughters, two sons and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.