Ex-Ohio AFSCME Boss Indicted for Theft

James R. English, ex-president of Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees Local 3895 in Lake County, Ohio, was indicted Sept. 8 on theft charges of cashing checks totaling $1,900 at without proper authorization in Feb. 2000. The local has since disbanded and its corrections officers are now members of the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Ass’n.

Lake County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy William Crosier said English was notified Sept. 13 that he faces a disciplinary hearing. The notice said the sheriff intends to fire English for theft, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming a corrections officer in violation of disciplinary rules.

According to investigators, a union official went to the bank to remove the AFSCME funds and transfer them to the new union’s coffers and discovered the missing funds. He alerted the union and the Sheriff’s Department. Investigators said English used some of the union money to pay rent.

English pleaded not guilty to the theft charges and said there was no money missing. He said the charges were driven by rumors. English was fired by Sheriff Daniel Dunlap in Feb. 1999 after he was accused of sexual harassment. English appealed the firing and was reinstated in Dec. He claims both charges are in retaliation for his union organizing. [Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 9/9, 9/14/00]