Michael Rice had served as president of Local 538 of the United Food and Commercial Workers since the late 80s. On Tuesday, November 29, he found out how long he’ll have to serve in another capacity: six months as an inmate in prison, plus an additional three years of supervised release. Rice, a resident of Madison, had embezzled slightly over $30,000 from the local in the form of bogus expense claims filed between September 2000 and April 2004. He pleaded guilty in September and since has made restitution. In sentencing Rice, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb took note of the fact the some of his thefts took place during a bitter and unsuccessful strike in 2003. Local 538 represents a combined roughly 2,200 workers at two meatpacking plants and a dairy plant in southern Wisconsin. (Associated Press, 11/30).
Chicago-Area Ex-Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On October 26, Donald Hutchinson, former secretary for Local 763-C of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Chemical Workers Council, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, to embezzling $106,216 in union funds. The plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Local 763-C is based in Joliet, Illinois. (OLMS, 11/19).
Former Treasurer in Pennsylvania Pleads Guilty to Cover-Up
On November 8, William Skursky, ex-treasurer for Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers Local 2-672 in Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, to one count of false record-keeping. He had concealed thefts of local funds in the amount of $6,050. (OLMS, 11/19).
California Ex-Business Manager Charged with Embezzlement
On November 3, Joseph Rocha, former business manager/secretary-treasurer for Local 1082 of the Laborers International Union of North America, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on two counts of embezzling $2,700 in union funds. (OLMS, 11/19).