Laborers Bookkeeper in Southern Illinois Pleads Guilty to Theft

liuna logoThere wasn’t much question about whether Carolyn Hall had taken union funds.  At least it could be said that she was able and willing to return them.  On August 7, Hall, formerly bookkeeper for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1197, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to one count of embezzling $26,491 in funds from the McLeansboro (Hamilton County), Ill.-based union.  She had been charged this past April following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  Court records show that she already has made full restitution.

Prosecutors had alleged that Hall, 53, a resident of McLeansboro, during roughly July 2012-February 2014 used her position with the union, which represents construction and other workers in more than a dozen counties in southern and central Illinois, to divert Local 1197 member dues to her own personal use.  At sentencing, scheduled … Read More ➡

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NLRB Denies Union Standing for Northwestern Football Players

Some would call it punting.  Others would call it common sense.  Both summations might apply.  On Monday, August 17, the National Labor Relations Board unanimously ruled that scholarship football players at Northwestern University cannot form a union.  In overturning a March 2014 regional NLRB decision, the board concluded that allowing union organizing at one campus, but not at others, would be disruptive.  The ruling read:  “Our decision is primarily premised on a finding that because of the nature of sports leagues…it would not promote stability in labor relations to assert jurisdiction in this case.”  While the decision is a rebuke to the players’ request, its scope is narrow.  By declining to rule on whether student-athletes qualify as “employees,” the board has kept the door open for similar cases.    

Union Corruption Update twice analyzed this case in detail last April (here and here).  A nationwide student-athlete labor activist … Read More ➡

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Memphis Bakery & Tobacco Workers President Sentenced

bakery-tobacco-workers-logoOn June 25, William Magee, former president of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers Local 252G, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to three years of probation, with six months home detention, for embezzling funds from the Memphis union.  He also was ordered to pay $71,908 in restitution and a $100 assessment.  Magee had pleaded guilty in February following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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Transportation Union Secretary in Washington State Sentenced

utu-logoOn July 1, Alfonso Rodriguez, former secretary-treasurer for United Transportation Union (SMART) Local 117, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to three years of probation and 160 hours of community service for false financial reporting.  He also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $34,601 to the Southworth (Kitsap County), Wash.-based union.  Rodriguez had pleaded guilty in March following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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Three NYC Union Bosses Charged in 1M+ Kickback and Embezzlement Scheme

Benefit plans arguably have become the most lucrative source of illegal income in the world of organized labor. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan don’t need to be reminded of that. On July 1, New York City union officials Rocco Miranti, Johnnie Miranti and Louis Smith were arrested and indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for their roles in obtaining more than $1 million through kickbacks and theft from allied health plans. The three defendants, respectively, are business manager of Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223, secretary-treasurer of Local 223, and ex-president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 810. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the NYPD’s Organized Crime Investigation Division.

Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223 is based in Manhattan, and represents toy factory workers; Teamsters Local … Read More ➡

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Indiana AFGE Local President Sentenced for Theft

afge-shield-logoOn July 7, Curtis Bullick, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3254, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one year of probation for theft of property from the Bunker Hill, Ind.-based union.  He also was ordered to pay $2,107 in restitution and a $25 special assessment.  Bullick had pleaded guilty in March.  The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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CWA Secretary-Treasurer in Indiana Charged with Forgery, Theft

Communications Workers logoOn July 23, Diana Brown, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 84807, was charged in Clark County, Indiana Circuit Court with 10 counts of felony forgery and one count of felony theft from the Jeffersonville, Ind. (near Louisville, Ky.) union.  The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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Puerto Rican Bond Default Raises Likelihood of U.S. Bailout

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Observers lately have taken to calling Puerto Rico “America’s Greece.” That might qualify as an insult – to Greece. And the American public may have to cover the debts. On Monday, the island government announced that its Public Finance Corporation was unable to make its full scheduled loan payments over the weekend. The $628,000 in disbursements was a mere blip on the $58 million due, itself a blip on composite debt of over $70 billion, a large portion of it rated at “junk” levels. Yet suddenly the specter of collapse has become real. Moody’s Vice President Emily Raimes, terming the partial payment a “default,” stated: “This event is consistent with our belief that Puerto Rico does not have the resources to make all of its forthcoming debt payments. This is a first in what we believe will be broad default on commonwealth debt.”

National Legal and Policy Center … Read More ➡

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Michigan Carpenters Council Comptroller Charged with $500K Theft

Glenn Robert Smith dodged a bullet nearly two years ago in a civil lawsuit filed by his union. He might not be so fortunate this time around now that he’s facing federal criminal charges. On July 1, Smith, former comptroller for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC), was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with an information count for embezzling $499,087 from the Detroit-area labor organization. The charge follows a joint investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Back on November 1, 2013, the Council filed a 17-count civil complaint in Detroit federal court against Smith and two other defendants – Smith’s wife, Laura Smith, and another individual, Stacey Adkins – for misuse of council assets. It also requested a temporary restraining order against Laura Smith on any attempt by her … Read More ➡

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AFSCME Home Care Workers President in New York Sentenced

On June 26, Juanita Phillips, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 389, was sentenced in the Supreme Court of New York State to one year in prison for stealing funds in an unspecified amount from the New York City-based home care workers union.  She had pleaded guilty last September.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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