On October 30, Jackie Nutter, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 15485, pleaded guilty in the Greene County, Missouri Circuit Court to one count of theft of $12,284 of funds from the Springfield-based union. She then was sentenced to five years (suspended) in prison and five years of probation. Nutter, who already had paid full restitution, had been charged with theft in September 2014. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On November 10, Shelly Sutton, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 477, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on one count of bank fraud in the amount of $65,000 from the union, which represents employees at the VA hospital in Wichita. Sutton, 46, a resident of Augusta, Kan., allegedly did the following: forged check signatures; made unauthorized cash withdrawals; made unauthorized electronic payments to personal creditors; and used the union debit card to buy personal items. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
John Earvin used union funds to pay for personal expenses, much of it gambling-related. Now he’s about to pay a debt to society. On November 10, Earvin, formerly president of the United Federation of Law Enforcement Officers (UFLEO), was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to six months of home confinement, three years of probation and 600 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Bellerose (Nassau County), N.Y.-based union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $28,012. Earvin had pleaded guilty in June after being arrested and indicted on one count of wire fraud in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On November 6, Marcella Champion, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1831, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with one count of theft from the Washington, D.C. union in the amount of $4,130. The local represents federal security employees. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
For Eric Givens, being an Amtrak cop was an opportunity to steal union funds as well as protect the public. That’s why he’s now about to embark on a trip of a different sort. On November 12, Givens, former secretary-treasurer of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 189 and the Amtrak Police Labor Committee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to 16 months in prison and three months of supervised release for embezzling a combined more than $100,000 in funds from the two New York-based labor organizations. He also was ordered to pay about $127,000 in restitution and forfeit another roughly $12,000. Givens had pleaded guilty in June following his arrest and indictment a year earlier.
On October 30, Bonita Scherling, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7970, was indicted in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, County of Hood River, on one count of theft, one count of forgery and two counts of identity theft in relation to her position at the Hood River-based union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 29, Jacqueline Askew, former bookkeeper for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Council 35, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to two years of probation for embezzling $40,930 in funds from the Roslindale (Boston), Mass.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $18,720 in restitution, a $2,500 fine and a $100 special assessment. Askew, who previously paid $22,209 in restitution, had pled guilty in July after being charged in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Marijuana has become a labor issue as well as a legal and commercial one. In one union, that means corruption. On September 17, Daniel Rush, an organizer for the United Food and Commercial Workers, was indicted in Oakland, Calif. by a federal grand jury for bribe-taking, attempted extortion, honest services fraud, and money-laundering related to his receipt of over $500,000 in cash and other things of value from marijuana dispensary employers in return for his advice to the employers on how to avoid being unionized. Arrested on August 11 after a lengthy FBI probe, Rush pleaded not guilty on September 23. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California told NLPC today that a status conference is set for December 14.
On October 27, Chad Petras, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342C, pleaded guilty in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to one count of attempted theft of funds from the union. He then was sentenced to 180 days in jail (suspended) and one year of probation, and was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution and a $150 fine. Petras had been indicted on one count in January 2013. The union, at the time of the offense was based in Rising Sun, Ind., but since has moved to Cincinnati. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 27, Julie Skaggs, former office manager of International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 372, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to six months of home detention and five years of probation for embezzlement of $51,491 in funds from the Cincinnati union. She also was ordered to pay $67,874 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. Skaggs pleaded guilty in July after being charged in March 2014. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.