International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)

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.

Firefighters President in Missouri Charged, Pleads Guilty

On June 4, Aaron Hunter, former president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 108F in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri with one count of making false statements to conceal his embezzlement of union funds. He then pleaded guilty. The charge and plea follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Boston-Area Fireman Charged; Alleges Threat by Union President

FirefightersKevin Howard has been on sick leave for the last several months, but he may wind up on permanent leave. On August 11, a U.S. District Court in Lynn, Massachusetts, determined that there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against Howard, a veteran firefighter and acting fire chief for the nearby community of Nahant, for multiple acts of embezzlement. The action was in response to a similar complaint filed earlier in the month by his union, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2718. In a separate action, Howard last month obtained a restraining order against a fellow firefighter whom he alleged had threatened to shoot him.

Treasurer of Boston-Area Firefighters Local Charged with Embezzlement

FirefightersLike many crooked union office employees in recent years, Truong Nguyen had a gambling problem. His case comes with a unique twist: He was arrested at a casino. Nguyen, a firefighter/paramedic with the Norwell, Mass. fire department and treasurer of its union, Local 2700 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, on April 12 was taken into custody at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and charged with cleaning out the union bank account to the tune of more than $46,000. He was arraigned in Hingham (Mass.) District Court, where according to his attorney he regretted his "unfortunate infraction." He was held on $99,000 bail.

Connecticut Firefighters Ex-Local President Agrees to Repay Embezzled Funds

FirefightersSettling out of court might not be the most lucrative approach to getting back stolen funds, but in the long run it may be the best. Officials of Local 2533 of the International Association of Fire Fighters are hoping so. Early this month, the Branford (near New Haven), Connecticut union and State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced they had reached an agreement with former local president Michael Manemeit to recover around $38,000 in funds Manemeit had stolen years earlier. "We're happy to have some closure on the case," said Randall Chittenden, a former union president and currently a local trustee.

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