Carl Horowitz's blog

Steelworkers Secretary in Louisiana Charged; Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn April 26, Todd Culley, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 103, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana to one count of embezzlement in an unspecified sum from the St. Francisville-based union.  He had been charged on April 12.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Kansas AFGE Local Treasurer Sentenced for Fraud

AFGE logoOn May 4, Shelly Sutton, former treasurer for American Federation of Government Employees Local 477, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to three months in prison and three months of supervised release for one count of bank fraud.  She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $78,778.  Sutton had pleaded guilty in February to stealing $93,094 from the Wichita-based union, which represents employees at the local VA hospital, after being indicted last November.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Social Media CEOs Embrace Black Lives Matter; Censor Critics

Social media is supposed to expand the possibilities of human communication.  Yet an alliance of technology executives and black radicals is trying to restrict them.  Case in point:  Top officials of Crowdpac, Netflix, Twitter, Slack and YouTube donated sizable sums to the Baltimore mayoral campaign of DeRay McKesson (in photo, left).  Though the donations didn't produce victory, they were highly significant all the same.  McKesson wasn’t just any political candidate.  He's chief strategist for Black Lives Matter, a collection of demagogues dedicated to stifling debate in cities and on college campuses.  Corporate leaders defend their support as good for “diversity” and thus profits.  Yet a diversity of opinion, most of all, has been the casualty.    

Treasury Rejects Teamster Pension Compromise; Losses Mount

The word “troubled” doesn’t even begin to describe the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund.  “Desperate” is more like it.  Last Friday, May 6, the Treasury Department announced that it had rejected a restructuring proposal submitted by plan trustees last September to avert collapse.  The proposal, which would have cut benefits on average by 22 percent for about two-thirds of all participants, did not go over well with Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and other union officials.  Yet they are cornered by reality.  As of last fall, liabilities exceeded assets by $17.5 billion, a gap widening by $2 billion a year.  The plan is projected to go bankrupt in 10 years.  A federal bailout likely would make things worse.  Central States Executive Director Thomas Nyhan is reviewing alternatives.

Boston Teamster Sentenced for Role in Shakedown Racket

Teamsters logoFor Jimmy Deamicis, union organizing was a license to extort and defraud.  Now he’s found out the wages of his misguided thinking.  On March 23, Deamicis, a former member of now-defunct International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82, was sentenced in Boston federal court to a year and a day in confinement and another year of probation for his participation in a racket in which union members forced cash and other tribute from businesses, especially exhibitors at Boston-area trade shows.  He had been convicted by a jury in November on three counts of extortion; later in the month he pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud and one count of theft of government funds.  He also was ordered to pay $42,091 in restitution and a $700 assessment.  The actions follow a Labor Department probe.

Amalgamated Transit Union Treasurer in Dallas Charged; Pleads Guilty

ATU logoOn March 30, Johnny Wilson, former financial secretary-treasurer for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with one count of embezzling $120,352 in funds from the Dallas-based union.  He then pleaded guilty.  The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New York AFGE President Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

AFGE logoA deceased fellow union member was William Davis’ ticket to the good life.  It now might be his ticket to prison.  On April 6, Davis, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1119, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to one count of wire fraud in connection with his theft of funds from the Montrose (Westchester County), N.Y. union.  The local represents employees of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System’s FDR Campus.  He had been indicted last October for wire fraud and making false statements in union financial records following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Office of Inspector General.

Local UTU Secretary-Treasurer in Mississippi Pleads Guilty

SMART logoOn March 29, James Adams, former secretary-treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 427, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to one count of making false statements in financial records of the Byram, Miss.-based local.  Adams had been indicted last October for embezzling $45,043 in union funds as well as records fraud.  The national union is now known as the Transportation Division of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART).  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Chicago Transport Workers Local President Pleads Guilty

TWU logoOn March 24, Simiel Campbell, former president of Transport Workers Union Local 2014, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of making a false statement in a union financial statement.  He had been charged in a superseding indictment this March after his original indictment in December 2013 for embezzling $19,433 in funds from the Chicago union.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Cleveland-Area Utility Workers Vice President Indicted for Theft

Utility Workers logoOn March 17, Arthur Boedecker Jr., former vice president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 270, was indicted in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for unauthorized lost time payments from the Brooklyn Heights union in the amount of $40,203.  The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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