Mary Hartsock is living proof that longevity with an employer is no guarantee of honesty.The ex-office manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1358, based in Elmira, N.Y., pleaded guilty on October 29 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to embezzling $17,958 in funds.Hartsock, 49, a resident of nearby Millport, N.Y., had served in her position from 1980 until January 2007.Federal prosecutors charged that from January 2002 until her dismissal five years later, she converted union receipts to her own use by not depositing or reporting member dues payments.The guilty plea came as the result of an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.(Elmira Star-Gazette, 10/30/07; OLMS, 11/1/07).
St. Louis Ex-Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted Stephen Kostelac on charges of embezzlement.A resident of Fayette County, Pa., Kostelac, 51, secretary-treasurer of the Donora, Pa.-based Lodge 906 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, is accused of stealing dues payments.Prosecutors did not give a specific dollar amount.(Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa., 11/30/06).
Former Treasurer in Alabama Indicted for Embezzlement
Mary Love and Danna France knew the value of teamwork – at least when it came to embezzling from their union.Their combined take came to around $70,000.Love, 51, a resident of northwest suburban St. Louis, during October 1998-December 2005 served as president of Local 96 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents workers at the Jefferson Barracks and John Cochran VA hospitals.During that time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged, she diverted more than $43,000 in union checks toward personal use.On November 15, a federal jury convicted Love of theft and filing false records. For her part, France, 42, who pleaded guilty in October, stole more than $26,000.France is due for sentencing in January; Love is due in February.(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/17/06).
Chicago-Area Business Manager Sentenced for Stealing
Kathryn L. Stark had an 11-year run stealing funds from Local 31 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. But the former office manager of the Duluth, Minn.-based local ran out of luck sometime after that.A federal grand jury in Minneapolis on September 11 indicted Stark, 49, a resident of Superior, Wisconsin, on charges that during 1993-2004 she stole more than $50,000 from the union.Two other persons also were indicted in the case, the result of an investigation by the Labor Department.Local 31 represents utility workers in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.(Duluth News-Tribune, 9/12/06).
Cleveland Ex-Local Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
N.Y. state troopers raided Madison Square Garden (MSG) on Jan. 27, removing documents as well as cash from a private home.MSG officials kicked out several people -- Jim Arneman, the head of bldg. operations, chief electrician John O'Hara and chief stagehand Franklin DeSavino -- who were also suspended from their jobs.Law enforcement sources say that the investigation is focusing on possible no-show jobs arranged by the local affiliate of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees, and bid-rigging by officials of the electrical union. [New York Post, 2/12/04]
Responding to a report by the Independent Rev. Bd. (IRB), Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters president James P. Hoffa took control of Houston Local 988 on Oct. 20, imposing a temporary trustee in place of two local officers accused of embezzlement and kickbacks.The IRB was founded in 1989 to help settle a racketeering suit by the government charging that IBT were controlled by organized crime.
On December 12, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. Court for South Dakota, Jo Ann Vaughn, frmr. treasurer of the Intl. Alliance Theatrical, Stage & Picture Operators Local 220, pled guilty to one count of embezzling approximately $33,000 (not exceeding $29,000 in union funds). Vaughn had pled not guilty on October 22 to one count of embezzlement and one count of fraud for causing a false report to be made. She will be sentenced on March 10, 2003. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Minneapolis Resident Investigator branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [USAO, SD 12/12/02: DOL OLMS 12/19/02]
On September 6, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the East. Dist. of Wisc., David Dobry, former Secy.-Treas. of Boilermakers Lodge 177, was sentenced to five months imprisonment followed by five months of home detention followed by three years of supervision. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $61,510. He pled guilty to embezzling $61,510 in union funds on July 2, 2002, following an investigation by the Milwaukee branch of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [DOL OLMS 9/12/02]
U.S. Dist. Judge David A. Katz (N.D. Ohio, Clinton) sentenced the ex-treasurer of the Lima (Ohio) Mem'l Prof'l Nurses Ass'n, Sharon K. Schmenk, Feb. 1 to three years probation, the first six months to be spent in home confinement. She must wear an ankle monitor, which costs $4.95 a day. She must pay for the monitor (approximately $891). Katz also ordered the boss to to make full restitution. She pled guilty Oct. 5 to embezzling $19,170 in union funds. [DOL 2/1/02; USAO N.D. Ohio 2/25/02]
Minnesota Boss Gets Probation for False Entries, Paid $18,700 in Restitution On Feb. 25, in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Minn., Judy Domning, ex-executive director of the Minn. Licensed Practical Nurses Ass'n and ex-executive director of the Technical Employees Ass'n of Minn., was convicted of making a false statement by making false entries in union records. She was sentenced to two years probation and barred from employment by unions "for life." She had pled guilty on Aug. 24 and had previously made restitution of $18,772.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Aug. 21 that former secretary-treasurer of the Int'l Union of Electronic Workers Ron Gilvin, who was suspended after criticizing IUE's president Edward Fire, may proceed with his claim that he was retaliated against for exercising his right to free expression in violation of the Labor-Mgmt. Reporting & Disclosure Act of 1959, popularly known as the Landrum-Griffin Act. Holding that Gilvin was covered by the LMRDA's free speech provision, the D.C. Circuit reversed a district court decesion that the law protects only the rights of union members, not union officers. "That holding was an error of law," the court said, explaining that it ran counter to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Sheet Metal Workers' Int'l Ass'n v. Lynn.