Ex-Teamsters official pleads guilty in 'Top Chef' case

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A former Teamsters official who intimidated the staff and crew of the "Top Chef" reality TV show has pleaded guilty in Boston to an attempted extortion charge.

Mark Harrington entered his guilty plea Thursday in an agreement with federal prosecutors that spares him any jail time and calls for two years of probation. He told a judge he was merely trying to get jobs for union members.

Five members of Local 25 were indicted last year. The indictment said they demanded union members be hired as drivers and then threatened and harassed the crew for the show's non-union production company.

The Teamsters were accused of yelling profanities and racial and homophobic slurs at host Padma Lakshmi and the crew during filming at a restaurant.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15.