International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)

Virginia Fire Fighters Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

IAFF logoSheron Gibson won the trust of his union – too much, in fact.  On March 5, Gibson, a former firefighter for the City of Suffolk, Va. fire department, pleaded guilty in a state court to one count each of embezzlement and forgery in connection with his theft of about $109,000 from International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2801, where he was secretary-treasurer for a half-decade.  He had been indicted last June on 12 counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery following a police investigation.  Gibson has made full restitution.

Report Shows Missouri Taxpayers Subsidize Public-Sector Unions

Union compensationUnions, even those representing government employees, are private organizations.  Yet a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reveals that taxpayers in one state effectively are being forced to cover some of the costs of public-sector union official business.  The study, authored by CEI labor policy analyst Trey Kovacs and titled, “A Remedy for Taxpayer Giveaway to Unions” (March 25, 2015), in the face of considerable resistance, dug up clear evidence that state and local government agencies in Missouri are subsidizing public-sector unions during working hours without loss of member pay.  These “release time” clauses, built into collective bargaining agreements, are at odds with the public interest, deceptively costly, and almost certainly illegal.

Fire Fighters Treasurer in California Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

IAFF logoOn September 3, Paul Vargas, former treasurer of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 102-F, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to misdemeanor theft in the amount of $120 from the Lemoore, Calif. (in the San Joaquin Valley) union. He then was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation and 250 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $11,065 in restitution, a $1,000 fine and a $25 special assessment. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Firefighters Treasurer in SE Virginia Indicted for Embezzlement

IAFF logoSheron Gibson had built an excellent reputation over the years. Apparently, he also was willing to undermine it. On June 25, Gibson, a longtime firefighter with the City of Suffolk, Virginia, was indicted in a state circuit court on 12 counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery following his arrest for the theft of at least $50,000, and likely more than $100,000, from the union where he served as treasurer, Local 2801 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Following his arrest, he was released on a $2,500 bond.

Southern California Fire Insurance Investigator Arrested for Union Theft, Tax Evasion

IAFF logoRobert Perez made a living as a fire detective. But for the last several months the retired employee of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department had police detectives on his trail. And the police search seems to have paid off. On August 30, Perez, a former captain and insurance investigator with the department, turned himself in to county sheriff's office for arrest. Evidence indicated that over a roughly six-year period he had stolen approximately $114,000 from his union, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2046, and on top of that, submitted false tax returns. Perez was released on his own recognizance after a court rescheduled his arraignment date. He faces up to eight years in prison.

Fire Fighters Secretary-Treasurer in Virginia Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Fire Fighters logoOn February 20, Daniel Kramer, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-45, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Fauquier County, Virginia to one count of disorderly conduct in connection with his theft of $472.73 from the Newport News, Va.-based union. He then was sentenced to 12 months in jail (suspended) and five years of probation, and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine of which $2,000 was suspended. The offense was committed in Fauquier County, located on the outskirts of the Washington, D.C. area. Kramer had been charged last May. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Virginia Local Fire Fighters Secretary-Treasurer Charged

IAFF logoOn May 29, Daniel Kramer, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-45, was charged in the Circuit Court for Fauquier County, Virginia with one count of grand larceny of an unspecified amount from the union. The union is based in Newport News, in southeastern Virginia; the offenses were committed in Fauquier County, on the outskirts of the Washington, D.C. metro area. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Fire Fighters President in Rhode Island Charged with Embezzlement

On May 17, Joseph Palumbo, former president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 100, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island with embezzlement and fraudulent conversion in the amount of $1,541.91 from the Newport-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

President of New Mexico Firefighters Local Indicted for Theft

On February 23, William Dempsey, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 294, was indicted in the State of Texas, El Paso County, for theft of property worth more than $1,500 and but less than $20,000. The union is based in Las Cruces, N.M., but because Dempsey resides in Texas, the case is being prosecuted in the latter state. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Firefighters Local President in Missouri Sentenced

On October 15, Aaron Hunter, former president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 108-F, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to one year of probation for making false statements in union records to conceal his embezzlement.  He had paid $30,000 in restitution prior to sentencing. The local is based in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The action follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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