The promotion was nice, but it couldn’t save Clinton Humphrey from being caught. On January 26, Humphrey, formerly secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 386, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas with embezzling $51,811.70 in funds from the Texarkana, Ark.-based union. He then pleaded guilty. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
For nearly four years, Susan Haugen saw her union as a private bank. Now she’s likely to spend some time in a public prison. On January 26, Haugen, former treasurer of the state affiliate of the American Postal Workers Union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of South Dakota to one count of embezzlement of funds in the amount of $30,782 from the Huron, S.D.-based union. She had been indicted in November 2014 on three counts of stealing a combined more than $36,000 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On January 19, Heather Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 120, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service for embezzling $13,906 from the Cleveland union. She also was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment on top of the full restitution which she already had made. Banhidy had pleaded guilty in October following her indictment in August. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On January 15, Joshua Lewis, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division Lodge 212, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois for making false statements in financial records of the Gillespie (Macoupin County), Ill.-based union. He then was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $25 social assessment. Lewis had been indicted in November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
The Right to Work juggernaut continues to roll in seemingly unlikely places. On Friday, February 12, West Virginia Republican lawmakers overrode a veto by Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to pass legislation barring unions from forcing employers to fire workers who decline to pay dues. The votes, 55-43 in the House of Delegates and 18-16 in the Senate – only a simple majority is required for a veto – make West Virginia the 26th state with such a law. The measure had been introduced only a month earlier. Mark Mix, president of the Springfield, Va.-based National Right to Work Committee, commented after the vote: “Now, more than half of the states have enacted Right to Work laws to protect workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association.” The state’s unions have a different view.
On January 12, Gregory Paradis, former chief steward of United Federation of Special Police and Security Officers Local 501, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to two years of probation for embezzling $13,493 in funds from the Seabrook, N.H. union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. Paradis had pled guilty in October after being charged in August. The union represents security workers at the Seabrook nuclear power plant. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
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.