United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBC)

Ex-Local Bookkeeper in Oregon Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On April 14, Deann Schnepple, ex-bookkeeper for LIUNA District Council of Oregon, Southern Idaho and Wyoming, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to an information count charging her with embezzling $44,758 in district funds.  Sentencing has been set for June.  (OLMS, 5/16/06).



Pittsburgh Local Ex-President, Secretary Charged with Theft

Labor Department Seeks to Void Chicago Regional Election

By law, union elections must adhere to democratic process.  The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, or at least one of its major regional councils, appears not to have gotten the message.  Now the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) wants to send a more forceful one.  On May 8, the DOL asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to void an election held last July by the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRC).  The department asked a federal judge to order the CRC, which represents 47,000 workers in the Chicago area plus portions of Wisconsin and Iowa, to hold new nominations and elections for the following positions:  president/executive secretary-treasurer; first vice president; second vice president; warden; conductor; three trustees; and three regional council representatives.  DOL also wants new nominations and elections for all 42 local unions within the council.   

Three Contractors, Genovese Mobster Plead Guilty

Many major construction projects in New York City face an unwritten law:  If you want the work completed, pay the mob tax.  Those who collect are the Mafia, and unions and contractors friendly to it.  Those who pay are the general public and the workers who receive substandard wages and benefits.  But tax relief may be on the way.  On Monday, April 10, three mob-linked drywall contractors and a Genovese crime family soldier admitted in federal court in Manhattan to taking part in a scheme involving a pair of labor unions. 


Michigan Regional Council Bosses Set to Stand Trial

Ralph Mabry thought he was getting a steal of a deal to build his Grosse Pointe Park dream home.  He was right – but not in the way he’d anticipated.  Mabry is executive secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, representing around 23,000 journeymen carpenters, millwrights and apprentices.  He and the council’s former executive director and president, Anthony Michael, are about to stand trial in federal court for using their position to obtain a $120,000 discount from construction companies to work on the $803,000 home.  The case is in the jury-selection phase.


S.F. Bay-Area Local Punishes Whistle-Blower; Now in Court

Gustave Link never set out to be a troublemaker.  An apprentice welder and a union man, he was trying to raise worker safety issues at one of the nation’s largest ongoing engineering projects, the rebuilding of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  The existing 4.5 mile-long structure, opened in 1936, is scheduled for demolition next summer, a decision driven heavily by the Bay Area’s destructive 1989 earthquake.  The structure slated to replace the bridge, the New East Span, is the source of Link’s current predicament.  He and his former union, Pile Drivers Local 34, an affiliate of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, are squaring off in federal court. 


Former Iowa Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

On December 20, Debra Herrig, formerly secretary-treasurer for American Postal Workers Local 2339, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa to three months imprisonment and two years of supervised release.  She also will have to serve three months of home detention.  Herrig pleaded guilty last March to one count of embezzling funds from the Dubuque local; she since has made restitution in the amount of $13,265.26.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  (OLMS, 1/25).     


New York State Says “No” to Genovese-Linked Contractor

These past few years have been heady times for Worth Construction.  The Bethel, Conn.-based contractor has become one of the largest in the New York City area.  It’s been building roads, schools, hospitals, sewage treatment plants, and government buildings, generating $186 million in revenues in 2004 alone.  Unfortunately, its president, Joseph Pontoriero, has been keeping the wrong kind of company – the Genovese crime family kind.  For certain regulators and law enforcement agencies, these associations have raised red flags.  There have been enough of them at any rate for New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi to deny the company the eligibility to compete for a $46 million Thruway Authority contract.  An ongoing investigation of the contractor may implicate certain members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

Indiana District Ex-Secretary Charged with Embezzlement

The Northwest Indiana District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners has gone through a rocky past few years.  They aren’t getting any smoother either.  This past May Gerry Nannenga, formerly council secretary-treasurer, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for accepting bribes in connection with a scheme to purchase a 55-acre tract of land with $10 million in union pension money.  The land, part of the Coffee Creek planned community project in Chesterton, Ind., actually was worth only about $5 million.

Boston-Area Ex-Treasurer Sentenced

On September 21, Joseph Calcagno, formerly business manager/secretary-treasurer for Laborers Local 1162, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, to two years probation for making false entries in the local’s financial records.  He also was ordered to make $66,632 in restitution to the union for improper expenses.  The local is based in Brockton, south of Boston.  The case was investigated by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  (OLMS, 10/1).    


NW Indiana Local Faces Takeover by Int’l Union

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 1005 has a major problem on its hands:  The person who runs it is under indictment.  Paul Hernandez, president of the Hobart, Ind.-based local, with more than 1,100 members, was charged in federal court in May with 21 counts of theft and wire fraud.  Also indicted was Kenneth Castaldi, of Elkton, Wisc., who ran the local’s apprenticeship program.  At issue was the pair’s handling of an Indiana Department of Commerce training grant.      


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