The Kennedy Double Trouble
The Kennedy brothers, Robert and John, were both enemies of Hoffa and despised his work, especially during the country's postwar movement against unionizing (Bujalski 2). This was no surprise to anyone; especially with Robert Kennedy's published book, The Enemy Within, which subjects "corrupt unionists" (Cipes 118). Kennedy believed he was a menace to society and would destroy him at all costs. The Kennedy brothers and Hoffa had a war going on between them for many years.
When Robert Kennedy became Attorney General, he established a group, which worked inside the Justice Department, to watch and collect information about Hoffa and his men.
Walter Sheridan commanded this elite group and the men working under him were known as the Hoffa group (Cipes 120). Their full time job was to get Hoffa. Sheridan and his men received their biggest break when Edward Grady Partin decided, after many years of dirty work for the union, that he would work as an informant for the Kennedy administration (Cipes 120). An informant has a felon background and willingly cooperates with the government, sharing information detrimental to the case. Partin was a close associate of Hoffa for approximately five years. He was in jail at the time awaiting trial for embezzlement of union funds and kidnapping, when he decided to shun his boss and friend. Hoffa astonished when Partin testified against him (Cipes 119). But The Kennedy brothers were delighted with the testimony. He was convicted of jury tampering and sentenced eight years in prison. In addition, he was later found guilty for fraud and conspiracy and received another five years. In March of 1967, he was sent to Lewisburg Federal Prison in Pennsylvania and began his 13-year sentence.
A high-ranking mobster with close ties to the Teamsters happened to be serving time the same time as Hoffa. Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano was a friend of Hoffa, as well as a very influential mafia figure who controlled one of the most corrupt locals' in the country (Bruno 9).
Provenzano's deep roots and credited mafia status carried with him at Lewisburg. Provenzano was viewed as a big brother to Hoffa, which ultimately provided him with protection. These two men had each other's back. When "Tony Pro" became paralyzed with stomach ailments, Hoffa never thought twice about arguing to have officials provide him with needed medical attention (Bruno 9). But unfortunately their relationship later deteriorates because of bad business deals.
Hoffa had planned to finish his sentence and then take back his seat as president of the union. But serving the entire 13 years became unnecessary because President Nixon pardoned Hoffa and his sentence was cut from 13 years to four years. He was released on December 23, 1971, under one condition: that he could not run for presidency of the union. Because Nixon pardoned Hoffa people began to question his involvement with the mafia.