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.…

Secretary-Treasurer of Metro Phoenix Transit Union Sentenced

ATU logoIt took more than six years for Richard Wayne Johnson to be found out as an embezzler.  And it took more than three years for justice to prevail.  What matters in the end is that it did.  On September 14, Johnson, former secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to 18 months in prison, plus three years of probation upon release, for stealing almost $275,000 from the Phoenix-based transit workers union.  He also was ordered to pay full restitution.  Johnson had pleaded guilty this June following an investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Johnson, now 49, a resident of Surprise (near Phoenix), Ariz., became secretary-treasurer of ATU Local 1433 in 2005 after serving a few years as vice president.  Eventually, certain union members noticed their organization was short on funds.  In the …

Phoenix Metro Transit Union Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Thefts

ATU logoRichard Wayne Johnson may have thought his union wouldn’t find him out.  He guessed wrong.  This Tuesday, June 2, Johnson, formerly secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 and a bus driver for Valley Transit, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to embezzlement, fraud and forgery in an amount of nearly $275,000 from the union, which represents thousands of bus, para-transit and light rail operators in the Phoenix metro area.  He faces 16 years in prison at his sentencing hearing in August.

Johnson served as a union official from 2005 until January 2012.  Shortly after assuming his post, funds started disappearing.  A fellow bus driver, Hayden Scheider, who worked side by side with Johnson, became suspicious.  “I started calling around to the Labor Department and other people to find out what was going on with our financial reports,” he said.  In the fall of …

Fresno ATU Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

ATU logo Adam Raimer used his union like a personal bank. At least he’s repaid a large part of what he stole. On February 3, Raimer, formerly secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1027, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to five years of probation for one count each of embezzlement and access device fraud against the Fresno union in the amount of $41,429. He also was ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $18,429 plus a $200 special assessment. ATU Local 1027 represents city bus drivers in Fresno and MV Transportation bus drivers, dispatchers and mechanics in Fresno and Tulare.

According to federal prosecutors, Raimer, a resident of Madera (near Fresno), used his union position to make unauthorized purchases. During April 2006-April 2009, he allegedly bought merchandise from Office Depot, including large-screen TV sets, cameras and a GPS navigator, with a local account. He …

ATU Pressures Congress to Mandate Overtime Pay for Intercity Bus Drivers; Avoids Key Issues

Greyhound coach busIt’s a common news story these days: A bus on the highway crashes, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries. And the official cause is “driver fatigue.” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., backed by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the AFL-CIO, has a bill, the Driver Fatigue Prevention Act (S.487), to reduce such tragedies by extending the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay provisions to intercity bus drivers. For over 50 years the Department of Transportation has precluded overtime laws from applying to such travel. The ATU in recent weeks has stepped up pressure for passage of the bill, unveiled last March. The union insists the exemption allows bus companies to exploit drivers, who become susceptible to falling asleep at the wheel. Yet evidence suggests the union, in seeking more compensation for members, is avoiding key facts.

Buses remain a highly popular means of transportation in this country. According to the U.S. Department …

Ohio Local Transit Union President Sentenced for $100K+ Theft

ATU logoOn December 7, Claude Huff, former president and business manager of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to five years of probation for embezzling funds from the Dayton-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $110,348.49 and a special assessment of $100. Huff had been indicted in February and pleaded guilty in September. The union represents several hundred drivers and technicians for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Local Transit Boss in Ohio Pleads Guilty to $100K+ Theft

ATU logoOn September 4, Claude Huff, former president-business manager of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement from the Dayton-based union in the amount of $110,348.49. He had been indicted in February. The indictment and guilty plea follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Las Vegas Transit Workers Local President Charged

Las Vegas strip at nightOn March 15, Rose Marie Sotak, former president/business agent and acting treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1758, was charged with one count of felony theft of an unspecified sum of union funds in Justice Court, Las Vegas Township, Clark County, Nevada. The union is based in Las Vegas. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. The complaint includes a warrant for Sotak’s arrest and surety bail of $10,000.…

Pittsburgh-Area Transit Workers President Indicted for Embezzlement

Transit busOn February 15, Thomas Conley, former president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1738, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for embezzling $15,432.26 from the Latrobe union and falsifying records to conceal the thefts. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Southern Ohio Transit Union Chieftain Indicted for Time Theft

City busClaude Huff put in a long work week. The problem is that the extra hours most likely were fictitious. Huff, former president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385, which represents nearly 500 drivers and technicians for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA), was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on February 14 for embezzlement in an amount exceeding $100,000. Huff had resigned his union post in November 2010, a day before he was supposed to go before a union hearing on allegations that he overpaid himself by claiming hours not worked. Earlier that June, he had stepped down from his RTA position. In a separate action, the international union late in 2010 placed the local under trusteeship. 

According to court records, Huff, now 64, a resident of the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, for nearly four years routinely paid himself for putting in …