William McCarthy, the new president of the Teamsters Union, said four years ago that he needed permission from a reputed crime boss before he could take a higher job in the labor organization, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

McCarthy's comment was part of a 1984 conversation noted in a secret FBI memorandum, the newspaper said. McCarthy was allegedly seeking the support of the late Teamster President Jackie Presser to become general secretary-treasurer of the union.Presser told the FBI that McCarthy said he first "must obtain the approval and backing" of the late Raymond L.S. Patriarca, who was a reputed leader of the Mafia in New England.

Earlier this month, McCarthy was named president of the Teamsters, the nation's biggest labor union. He succeeded Presser, who died while under indictment on payroll-padding charges.