David Kendrick's blog

Former Buffalo, N.Y. Musicians Union Head Pleads Guilty

Depression can strike anyone.  But when Mark R. Jones was afflicted, his response was to rip off his union.  On July 26, Jones pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling $74,000 from local and state affiliates of the American Federation of Musicians.  He had served as president and secretary-treasurer of Musicians Local 92 and secretary-treasurer of the New York State Conference of Musicians.  He also had headed the Buffalo AFL-CIO Council until his resignation last December from that 98,000-member body.  He cited as his main reason an ongoing battle with depression. 

 

IBT Report Attempts to Discredit Ex-Watchdog Stier

The Chicago Sun-Times has obtained a draft of an internal Teamster report that attempts to discredit the union's former ethics watchdog, who charged the union hierarchy with squelching his efforts to investigate corruption within the union.  The report was put together by former federal prosecutor Edward McDonald report, and claims that Edwin Stier was bent on keeping the paychecks coming for his staff, and that he ignored directives from the office of James P. Hoffa, president of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

 

Stockbroker Sentenced for Stealing from Union Investments

A federal judge in Albany, N.Y. has sentenced a stockbroker on April 12 for stealing more than $400,000 from a union employee benefit fund.  U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas McAvoy ordered Anthony DiPace, 47, to serve a prison term concurrent with his 2 ½ year sentence received in January 2004 on a separate conviction for mail fraud in Hawaii. 

 

RI Mobster Pleads in Case where LIUNA Offices were Searched

A high-ranking mobster in the Patriarca crime family and laborers union member has agreed to plead guilty to cocaine trafficking charges stemming from his arrest in an FBI sting operation two months ago.  Matthew L. Guglielmetti has signed a plea agreement admitting that he conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.  The plea agreement was filed March 30 in the U.S. District Court in Providence.

 

Fed. Judge Throws out Union Trustees of NJ Benefit Fund

A federal judge has removed the administrator and two trustees of a New Jersey union's benefit funds that are now the focus of an ongoing federal corruption probe.  Citing serious questions about possible financial misconduct within Local 734 of the Laborers' Intl. Union of N. America (LIUNA), U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh in Newark said he would appoint substitute trustees to oversee the local's pension and welfare funds, pending a new election.

 

Ex-Treasurer Admits Embezzlement in Minn. Fed. Court

On March 23, in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, Dana Lockwood, former treasurer of Local 49, the Intl. Assn. of Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers, pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with embezzling $64,255 in union funds.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office of the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 4/4/05]

 

Ga. Union Ordered to Conduct New Election

Ex-Treasurer Admits Embezzlement in Del. Fed. Court

On February 17, in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, Julie Messick, the former treasurer of Local 2001, United Bhd. of Carpenters, entered a guilty plea by plea agreement to one count of a five-count indictment.  She pled guilty to embezzling union funds.  Messick had previously made restitution in the amount of $9,164. She further stipulated in the plea agreement that she will make additional restitution in the amount of $2,629.85.  On December 7, 2004, Messick was charged following an investigation by the Philadelphia District Office of the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 3/4/05]

 

Frmr. Bus. Mgr. Resentenced after Failing to Abide by 1st Sentence

Reputed Mobster Joins 3 Top Bosses as Racketeering Defendant

A reputed Genovese mob captain from New Jersey has joined three top Longshoremen union bosses as a co-defendant in a federal racketeering indictment that claims the ILA is under Mafia influence, according to the Journal of Commerce.  The extortion and wire-fraud charges against Lawrence Ricci are the latest development in a case scheduled to go to trial May 31 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

 

Frmr. Ohio Union Employee Charged in Local Court

On March 3, in the Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County (Ohio), an indictment was filed against Aunalie Parsons, former employee of the Ohio Nurses Association, charging her with one count of theft of union funds in an amount more than $500, but less than $5,000. In addition, Parsons was charged with two counts of forgery. The indictment follows an investigation by the Cleveland District Office  of the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards.

Calif. Unions Find Loophole through Landrum-Griffin

Los Angeles union chief Miguel Contreras and other union officials have tapped Hollywood studios, energy companies and other large corporations for hefty donations to finance its activities over the last eight years. In doing so, they have apparently found a loophole in the Landrum-Griffin Act, reports the Los Angles Times.

 

Created in 1997 to conduct voter registration, educate voters and campaign for ballot measures, the Voter Improvement Program (VIP) had the advantage of being able to receive unlimited donations. Unions have not been able to directly receive corporate donations for almost 60 years, as a result of congressional reaction to corruption scandals. 

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