Given the sum that he took, Harold Gilberson should consider himself lucky. On November 29, Gilberson, former president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 127, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming to embezzling $179,052 in funds from the Casper-based union. The local represents employees at three Wyoming power plants, and associated transmission lines, owned by PacificCorp. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Harold Gilberson, now 63, an employee at a power plant near Rock Springs, had served as president of Utility Workers Local 127 during 2002-15. During the last four years of this period, he allegedly charged a large number of personal items to his union credit card and then falsified union expense reports to conceal the thefts. Eventually, a Labor Department probe revealed that the fund shortfall was the result of his theft. With Gilberson waiving an indictment and pleading guilty, prosecutors have agreed to drop their request for prison time and will be satisfied with a restitution order. Sentencing is set for February 7.