Thomas Martin, who confessed last November to misusing union funds to influence elected officials, was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay $43,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine on April 1. The frmr. business mgr. of Local 15 of the United Assn. of Plumbers, Steamfitters and Pipefitters pled guilty last November to arranging free plumbing work at the home of Minneapolis city councilman Joseph Biernat in exchange for an appointment to the city's plumbers licensing board.
U.S. Dist. Judge Ann Montgomery (D. MN, Clinton) received a "large volume" of letters on Martin's behalf, but opted for a heavier sentence after prosecutors charged Martin with hindering the investigation. In one case, Martin asked that check for plumbing work paid out of union funds done at a friend's house be backdated. [Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/2/03]