On January 12, Herbert White Jr., former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 8936, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware with embezzlement of $24,287 in funds from the Wilmington-based union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Anyone doubting the influence of the loosely-knit band of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter probably wasn't at the White House last Thursday, where President Obama met with black leaders to discuss race, crime and policing. Among the attendees were Al Sharpton, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Black Lives Matter activists DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett (in photo). Obama invited McKesson and Packnett as a gesture to young blacks. Their inclusion underscores the summit's unspoken assumption: White lives don’t matter.
When the curtain rises on the 88th annual Oscar film awards next Sunday evening, February 28, tens of millions of TV viewers, along with attendees at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, will feel extra pangs of anxiety. For the focus this year is as much on race as it is on who will win. From the time of the announcement of the 20 acting nominations on January 14, racial grievance hustlers, from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to scheduled emcee Chris Rock (in photo), have hectored the Motion Picture Academy over the nominees being all white. This, they say, proves racism is rampant and that “reforms” are needed. Don’t believe them. Their facts are selective. And their goals are money and power at the expense of integrity of judgment.
On January 5, Edward Mason, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2274, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to two years of probation and ordered to pay $21,077 in restitution and a $25 special assessment for making false statements in the financial records of the Saginaw union. He had pleaded guilty in September. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
On January 5, Christopher Headlee, former treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America Local 50, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to one year of probation, and ordered to pay residual restitution in the amount of $1,947 (he previously paid $9,000) and a $25 special assessment, for falsifying financial data in a report submitted by the Durango-based union. He had pleaded guilty last October. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On January 7, Carolyn Hall, former bookkeeper for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1197, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100 assessment for embezzling $26,491 in funds from the McLeansboro (Hamilton County), Ill.-based union. She had pleaded guilty last August after being charged that April. Hall previously had made full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On January 4, Anne Susan, former business manager of Laborers International Union of North America Local 1386, pleaded guilty in Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court to theft, identity theft and forgery. She had been charged with a 24-count indictment last October 5. Charged in a 29-count indictment the same day for forgery and other offenses was former Local 1386 treasurer Therlen Benally. The union is based in Phoenix. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On September 30, Maria Del Cupolo, former bookkeeper for Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association Local 300, pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, to one count of theft from the Oakland union. She then was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $96,842. Following this sentence, on December 2 she received an additional one-year sentence in the Alameda County jail. Del Cupolo had been charged in January 2015 with five counts of grand theft in an amount exceeding $65,000, plus four counts of money-laundering. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
At least Helen Genal is remorseful. On January 25, Genal, former secretary-treasurer of the Fox Valley Area Community Action Program, a project of the United Auto Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to six months in prison for embezzling $29,968 from the Oshkosh-based labor organization. She pled guilty last November after being charged in July with one count each of embezzlement and making a false statement in union records. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Anyone who believes corruption in Detroit dissipated after the multiple convictions several years ago of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should take a hard look at International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324. On December 16, John Hamilton, business manager-general vice president of the Detroit union during 2003-12, was indicted by a federal grand jury on nine counts relating to various schemes of self-enrichment at the expense of rank and file. The indictment, the result of a multi-agency probe, accuses Hamilton of extortion, structuring, money-laundering, embezzlement and honest services fraud. The charges shed light not only on Hamilton’s relationship with Mayor Kilpatrick, but at least as importantly, his relationship with convicted financial manager John Orecchio, no stranger to these pages.