Crime didn’t pay for Stephen Snyder. On January 22, Snyder, financial secretary of Local 5724 of the United Steelworkers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of embezzlement from his union. Prosecutors had alleged that during February 2005-August 2006 he diverted $78,893.47 from the Clarington, Ohio local’s strike benefit fund to his personal bank account. Snyder, a resident of the Wheeling, W.V. area, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (WOWK-TV, 1/28/09; Associated Press, 1/28/09).
Union Vice-President Charged with Embezzlement
Using dues to pay for personal pleasures seems to be catching at the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. A little over a year ago, Don Hahs, president of the Teamsters-affiliated Cleveland union, was suspended from his post by the Independent Review Board (IRB) and forced to pay back the more than $58,000 he’d embezzled to pay for sporting events, travel and meals. Now another BLET official, Rick Radek, has been accused of taking from the till. On January 15, the IRB charged Radek, a union vice president, with diverting more than $6,700 in union funds to pay for unauthorized meals, office supplies and other personal expenses. When questioned by the board, Radek admitted that some of the restaurant expenses were of a “non-business” nature. The board has submitted the charges to Teamsters President James P. Hoffa for disciplinary review. (Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 1/20/09).
South Carolina Local Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Theft
On January 5, Joseph Michael Johnson, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Lodge 687, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $102,519. He had been charged in September of stealing from the Charleston Heights local. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 1/28/09).