Chicago Teamster Boss John Coli Indicted for Extortion; Resigns

Among union officials on the corruption radar screen, John T. Coli Sr. long has ranked among the most prominent. But the powerful Chicago-area Teamster boss’s luck finally appears to have run out. Last week, on July 12, Coli, now 57, was indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of extortion and one count of attempted extortion from a local film production company. During July 2016-April 2017, allege prosecutors, Coli (in photo, on right), as head of Teamsters Local 727, received cash payments from the firm totaling $100,000, threatening economic retaliation if the money was not forthcoming. By no coincidence, Coli announced his retirement from Teamster activity that day, though without mentioning the indictment. A bench warrant for his arrest has been issued, but the date of his arraignment has yet to be set.

Teamsters Local 727 is a longtime Coli family business, a reality that Union Corruption Update … Read More ➡

Paramedics Union Treasurer in Milwaukee Charged with Embezzlement

On June 20, Estes Evans, former treasurer of the Milwaukee-based International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local R7-33, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with one count of embezzlement of $44,446.86 and one count of filing a false financial report. IAEP is an affiliate of the National Association of Government Employees, itself part of the Service Employees International Union. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Pennsylvania Machinists Local Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

On June 19, Stephen Royer, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 243, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to stealing funds from the East Prospect (York County), Pa. union. He had been indicted this March on one count of embezzling $130,870 and four counts of filing false financial reports. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Trump’s NLRB Nominees Would Restore Common Sense to Workplace Relations

In recent years, as Union Corruption Update has noted, the National Labor Relations Board might be called the National Organized Labor Relations Promotion Board. This assessment soon may need some revision. Last month, President Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, each an experienced labor lawyer, to fill two vacancies at the normally five-member NLRB. The board is primed to revisit such contentious issues as the appropriate time frame of a union election campaign and the applicability of micro-unit bargaining. If approved, the nominees are likely to shift the NLRB back toward its traditional role of impartial arbiter and away from its current unofficial role of union partisan. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who will chair the hearings, has vowed to move quickly.

The National Labor Relations Board, established by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), is a federal agency based in Washington, D.C. with 26 … Read More ➡

New York City Painters Contractor Sentenced for $400K Fraud

Given what he took, Francis Mazzella is lucky he’s not headed for prison. On June 7, Mazzella, a contractor with a collective bargaining agreement with Metal Polishers Local 8A-28A, an affiliate of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to three years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution for defrauding the Queens-based union of more than $400,000 in scheduled benefits. He had pleaded guilty back in February 2012 to one count each of wire fraud and mail fraud. The actions follow a joint investigation by the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Metal Polishers Local 8A-28A, with roughly 1,400 members, had been beset with corruption for years. Former President Hector Lopez had been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and tax … Read More ➡

Washington, D.C. Iron Workers Business Manager Sentenced

On June 7, Juan Carlos Recinos, former business manager and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 201, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service for defrauding seven union members out of a combined $26,900. He had pleaded guilty in February after being indicted in March 2016. Recinos and the defrauded employees worked at the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Letter Carriers Local Treasurer in Michigan Charged

On June 2, Brenda Schaefer, former treasurer of National Rural Letter Carriers Association Local 39, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in a one-count information with willful failure to maintain records of the Chesterfield Township (Macomb County) union. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Officer of Amtrak Fraternal Order of Police Local Charged with Fraud

On May 25, Rocky DeFilippo, an Amtrak police officer and a member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 189, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with one count each of conspiring to commit wire fraud and making a false financial statement in connection with his submission of a fraudulent letter to his employer, Amtrak. The letter had claimed prior police service for the purpose of collecting back pay and a salary increase totaling more than $45,000. The union is based in Metuchen, N.J. The charges follow a joint probe by Amtrak and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

 … Read More ➡

Montana Local Teachers Union Treasurer Charged with Theft

On May 26, Mackenzie Dworshak, former treasurer of Montana Teachers Local 6105, an affiliate of both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, was charged in an information count in Lewis and Clark County, Montana District Court with embezzling $5,461 from the Helena-based union. The charge follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Helena Police Department.… Read More ➡

Maintenance of Way Secretary in Colorado Charged

On May 22, Leo Ulibarri, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local Lodge 204, a Teamsters affiliate, was charged in an information count in Las Animas County, Colorado District Court with theft in an unspecified amount from the Pueblo union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡