Iron Workers Business Manager in Washington, D.C. Pleads Guilty

On February 24, Juan Carlos Recinos, former business manager and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 201, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of fraud against seven fellow union members in the sum of $26,900.  He had been indicted last March for defrauding these individuals out of $18,700.  The scheme involved false assertions by Recinos about the need for the employees to forward a portion of their back pay awards to an unnamed “attorney.”  Rather than forward the collected funds, he simply kept the money.  Local 201 represents public works employees, including those at the District of Columbia’s Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, where Recinos and the others worked.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.…

Washington, D.C. Iron Workers Business Manager Indicted for Kickbacks

Iron Workers logoJuan Carlos Recinos had quite a scam going.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to hide it for very long.  On March 3, Recinos, business manager and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 201, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on seven counts of taking $18,700 in kickbacks over several months from employees on the false premise that the workers had to cover unspecified legal bills.  The indictment follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Iron Workers Local 201 represents public works employees known as "rodmen."  Their job is to set rebar into concrete forms at construction sites in Washington, D.C.  One of those sites is the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.  Juan Carlos Recinos, local business manager and …

Chicago-Area Iron Workers Local Bookkeeper Sentenced

Iron Workers logoOn January 20, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper for Iron Workers Local 63, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to three months in prison and one year of supervision for making false entries in records of the Westchester (Cook County), Ill. union to conceal her embezzlement of $47,161.  She had pleaded guilty last October after being charged in August.  In addition to her prison sentence, Misso was ordered to pay residual restitution totaling $31,161.  The union previously had been based in nearby Broadview, Ill.  The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.…

Iron Workers Office Manager in Cincinnati Sentenced

Iron Workers logoOn October 27, Julie Skaggs, former office manager of International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 372, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to six months of home detention and five years of probation for embezzlement of $51,491 in funds from the Cincinnati union.  She also was ordered to pay $67,874 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.  Skaggs pleaded guilty in July after being charged in March 2014.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Bookkeeper for Chicago-Area Ironworkers Local Pleads Guilty

Iron Workers logoOn October 8, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper for Iron Workers Local 63, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of making false entries in the records of the Broadview (suburban Chicago), Ill.-based union to conceal her acts of embezzlement totaling $47,161.  She had been charged in August.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.…

Pennsylvania Amends Anti-Stalking Law; Removes ‘Labor Dispute’ Exemption

Iron Workers logoStalking is ugly behavior.  By intent, it inflicts fear of violence upon another person or persons.  And frequently it is a prelude to actual violence.  Yet in a number of states, such behavior is protected under law if it can be justified as promoting one's interests in a labor dispute.  Pennsylvania, to its credit, is no longer on that list.  Last Thursday, November 5, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law repealing a loophole that had given unions the right to stalk, harass and even use a “weapon of mass destruction” as an organizing tool.  The new law, in the works for more than two years, applies to employers and unions alike.  Yet on a practical level, its main intent is to discourage union terror at nonunion worksites.  Predictably, the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFL-CIO opposes the measure.

Back in February 2013 and again in February 2014, …

Ironworkers Bookkeeper in Illinois Charged with Records Fraud

Iron Workers logoOn August 25, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper of Iron Workers Local 63, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with one count of making a false entry in the financial records of the Broadview, Ill. (suburban Chicago) union.  The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.…

Cincinnati Iron Workers Office Manager Pleads Guilty

Iron Workers logoOn July 15, Julie Skaggs, former office manager for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 372, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement of $51,491 in funds from the Cincinnati-based union.  She had been charged in March 2014.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Ironworkers Secretary in New Orleans Sentenced for Embezzlement

Iron Workers logoOn March 25, Andrea Hobgood, former secretary for Ironworkers Local 58, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $3,600 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the New Orleans-based union.  She previously had paid $14,039 in restitution.  Hobgood had pleaded guilty last March after being charged in January.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

If the year 2014 had a main theme, it was, as in 2013, the unions’ pursuit of legal advantage. The results were mixed. Unions scored victories at the National Labor Relations Board, but they tasted defeat in the courts, most notably in their effort to unionize private home care providers in Illinois and overturn a Wisconsin law reining in public-sector costs. In another bitter pill, the United Auto Workers last February lost a representation election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. As for dipping their hands in tills, national union leaders generally behaved themselves, but many local bosses, office employees and business agents did not. A suit by dissidents against a Los Angeles-area Operating Engineers local revealed first-term Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and its bosses and associates, to have ethically-challenged pasts. Whether successful or not, then, unions once again provided much to write about.

The National Labor Relations Board, …

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