On May 29, Joseph Allen, former secretary-treasurer for National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 588, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia to one year in prison and one year of probation for filing a false financial report on behalf of the Athens, Ga.-based union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $50,000. Allen pleaded guilty in March after being charged in November for embezzling slightly over $3,000. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General.
On May 9, Ronda Mackey-Fish, treasurer for the Redding Service Center Council, was arrested for embezzling more than $18,000 from the union, an affiliate of the California Teachers Association, which in turn is an affiliate of the National Education Association. The council had contacted police regarding a possible theft. Following an investigation, the authorities determined that Mackey-Fish, 54, a resident of Anderson, Calif., had stolen the money. She was booked at the Shasta County jail and was held on $25,000 bail.
On May 28, Cynthia Yancey, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3840, pleaded guilty in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to misdemeanor theft from the Cincinnati-based union. She then was ordered to pay court costs. Yancey previously had made restitution in the amount of $4,255 after being indicted on April 8. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On May 22, William Mochrie, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 28, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to making false entries in records of the Castleton, N.Y. (near Albany) union. He has agreed to make restitution in the amount of $13,763.05. Mochrie had been charged on May 8. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On May 21, Clarence Howard, former Secretary-Treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 789, pleaded guilty in the Criminal Court for Hamilton County, Tennessee to one count of theft of property in an amount of over $1,000 from the Chattanooga union. He then was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $26.50 fine. Howard had been indicted last December. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
It may turn out to be a very expensive mistake. On May 1, President Obama nominated 11-term Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C. (in photo), to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, established in July 2008 to oversee troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt has a history of making racially-charged statements that are way over the line, even by debased "civil rights" standards. The two federally-chartered, publicly-traded companies, operating under government conservatorship for almost as long as FHFA has been around, own or guarantee well over $5 trillion in home mortgages.
On May 17, Robert Carr, former financial secretary and business manager for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 228, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to 30 months in prison for embezzling union funds. That same day, his wife, Theresa Ann Carr, was sentenced to three months in prison for her role in the thefts. The couple also was ordered to pay a combined $120,000 in restitution. The Carrs had pleaded guilty this February after being initially charged in April 2009 with theft of more than $45,000 and then charged in a superseding indictment in August 2011. The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
On May 16, Owen Smith, former secretary-treasurer for Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 117, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to three years probation, assessed a $100 fine, and ordered to pay $18,023 in restitution for embezzling funds from the Jacksonville, Ark. union. ACT Chapter 117 represents Arkansas Air National Guard employees at Little Rock Air Force Base. Smith pled guilty last October. The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On May 14, Duane Rill, secretary-treasurer of the Berry Metal Employees Association, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for embezzling $13,496 in funds from the Cranberry Township, Pa.-based independent union. Rill, 51, a resident of Cranberry, allegedly wrote and cashed unauthorized checks and made unauthorized cash withdrawals from a union account during March 2007-November 2009. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On May 14, Johnny Torres Jr., former financial secretary for Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 259, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas for embezzling $9,947 in funds from the Waco-based union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.