President of Teamster Local in Illinois Sentenced

teamsters-logoOn July 18, Jerry Conner, former president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 279, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central Region of Illinois to one year of probation, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $26,009 in restitution for falsifying financial records of the Decatur, Ill.-based union.  He had pleaded guilty in February to a one-count information.  Teamster General President James P. Hoffa back in June 2013 had replaced Conner with a trustee.  The actions follow a joint investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

AFSCME President in Oklahoma City Arrested for Embezzlement

afscme-logoWilliam Bryles spent money on people he liked. Unfortunately, the source of the funds appeared to be his own union. On August 17, Bryles, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2406, was arrested for embezzling more than $15,000 from the Oklahoma City public employees union. Various witnesses have claimed he used union accounts to cover personal expenses ranging from basketball tournaments to flowers for his wife. “Bryles has engaged in a pattern of abuse of his powers as president of AFSCME Local 2406 and has used union funds for his own profit,” reported Oklahoma City police detective Clint Dellinger to a local judge in requesting the arrest warrant.

This case grew out of an unrelated and more disturbing one. According to court records, Bryles, now 53, a resident of Oklahoma City, had been investigated by local police starting last September in response to an allegation … Read More ➡

Staff Organization Treasurer in South Dakota Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

national-staff-organization-logoOn July 14, Kenneth Potter, former treasurer of the South Dakota chapter of National Staff Organization, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota to one count of concealment of thefts in financial records of the Pierre, S.D.-based union.   He then was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to undergo credit counseling.  Previously he had paid $4,130 in restitution.  Potter had been charged in an information count in April with concealment.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Detroit IATSE Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

iatse-logo_0On July 14, Bernadine Bell, former treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 757, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of embezzling about $73,000 in funds from the Detroit union. She had been charged in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

AFSCME Treasurer in Illinois Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

afscme-logoJeffrey Magelitz served as a clinical counselor to state prison inmates. Unfortunately, he may wind up being an inmate somewhere else. On August 17, Magelitz, former treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 415, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to embezzling more than $30,000 in union dues and to concealing the thefts in financial reports. He had been indicted last November following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Sentencing is scheduled for December 7. He faces up to six years in prison.

Magelitz, now in his mid-40s, a resident of Chester (Randolph County), Ill., for some 18 years had provided inmates at the Vienna Correctional Center in Vienna (Johnson County), Ill. with counseling services for their problems. He also had a problem of his own: He and his wife were about $225,000 in debt, … Read More ➡

Bricklayers President in Illinois Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

bricklayers-logoPutting David Fleury in charge of union finances proved to be a mistake. Getting members their money back may turn out to be an even bigger challenge. On August 9, Fleury, former president of International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 6, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to embezzling roughly $300,000 in funds from the Rockford, Ill.-based union. He had been charged on July 15 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. His sentencing is set for December 15, when he faces up to five years in prison and a restitution order.

Fleury, now 49, a resident of Rockford, headed Local 6 during January 2011-May 2015. Prosecutors had alleged that he used his office for much of that period to line his pockets. He diverted fully 153 electronic paycheck deposits totaling $284,286 into an account he controlled. … Read More ➡

The $15 an Hour Minimum Wage: A Bad Idea with a Union Label

15-an-hour-minimum-wage-rallyIt began at the fringes. And almost at warp speed, the campaign for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage has taken center stage. The Democratic Party has made it part of its platform. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports it. Her intraparty rival, Bernie Sanders, has sponsored a bill to achieve it. Cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C., plus the states of California and New York, have passed laws to phase it in. Heavily promoted by organized labor, supporters insist a $15 an hour minimum is way overdue. The current $7.25 an hour, they say, has not kept pace with the cost of living, driving many Americans into poverty. This claim is way off-base. And their legislation, if fully realized, would leave a trail of frustrated job seekers and shuttered businesses. In some places, this already has begun to happen.

National Legal and Policy Center described at … Read More ➡

Security Professionals Secretary in Kentucky Indicted

spfpaOn July 14, Laura Cloyd, former financial secretary of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 112, was indicted in Campbell Court (Ky.) Circuit Court with theft by failure to make required disposition of private property in an amount of at least $500.  The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Detroit-Area SPFPA Boss Indicted for Embezzlement

spfpa logo_0On July 14, Devon Madray, president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 119, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for embezzling around $20,000 in funds from the Roseville, Mich. (Macomb County)-based union.  The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Washington, D.C. AFGE Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

afge logo_0On July 15, Marcella Champion, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1831, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the federal government security guards union.  She also was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and pay $19,152 in restitution on top of the $2,000 she already paid.  Champion had pleaded guilty in May to one count of theft in the sum of $4,130 after being charged last November.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.   

 … Read More ➡

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