Ex-Local Leader in Los Angeles Gets Probation for Theft

Janett Humphries isn’t in the best of health these days, something that a federal judge in Los Angeles likely took into account at sentencing time.  Humphries, 63, pleaded guilty last November to one count of conspiracy and three counts of embezzlement for diverting about $36,000 from her union, Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District.  U.S. District Judge Manuel Real on May 14 gave five years’ probation, and ordered her to pay $5,149 in restitution, pay a $500 special assessment, and perform 1,000 hours of community service.  Humphries’ lawyer Ricardo Torres II, pleading for leniency, stated that his client has Alzheimer’s disease and recently suffered a stroke. 

Humphries diverted SEIU Local 99 funds to pay for about $33,000 in wages to more than a half-dozen persons who worked on the 2003 Los Angeles City Council

Ex-Los Angeles Union Chieftain Gets Jail Sentence

Janett Humphries hasn’t had much to look forward to over the last several months.  She was convicted in the fall on conspiracy and perjury charges for diverting about $36,000 in funds from her union, Service Employees International Union Local 99, toward the successful 2003 Los Angeles City Council campaign run by ally Martin Ludlow.  And her psychiatrist has confirmed that she has Alzheimer’s disease.  Lawyers for Humphries, 63, argued for leniency at her sentencing hearing, claiming she could not withstand any jail time.  Los Angeles Municipal Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus wasn’t quite swayed.  On December 14, he gave Humphries a six-month sentence. 

Marcus originally had planned to give Humphries a one-year sentence, but reduced it upon hearing of her medical condition.  Still, he balked at the idea of no sentence at all, as it would send a message that breaking the

Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Filed by Convicted L.A. Boss

When Janett Humphries lost her job as president of Service Employees International Union Local 99, she thought she was going to lose her mind as well.  At least that’s what her lawsuit against two former union associates suggested.  Until her recent resignation, Humphries had headed a union that represented Los Angeles public school employees.  Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Recana issued a five-page ruling on November 22 that was not available until a week later. 

Humphries, 63, sued Local 99 political operative Thomas Newbery and bookkeeper Rhoda Conde for remarks they allegedly made during 2003-04 to investigators looking into possible financial mismanagement.  She insisted the remarks did not qualify as constitutionally-protected free speech.  Recana, who had dismissed a similar complaint by Humphries in June, concluded, “Even if the subject statements were made to union officials (and) attorneys, such statements still constitute…protected speech…as the

Ex-Los Angeles Local President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Few observers gave Janett Humphries much of a chance when she decided to take her case to trial.  In the end, even she didn’t give herself much of a chance.  On November 13, the 63-year-old former president of Service Employees International Union Local 99 pleaded guilty in federal court to charges she had embezzled more than $30,000 from her union to help finance Martin Ludlow’s successful 2003 run for Los Angeles City Council.  She used the funds to pay for travel expenses and a cell phone for Ludlow’s campaign staff, plus personal air travel costs.  Ludlow stepped down from his council post in 2005 to head the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, but pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge early this year.  Sentencing for Humphries is set for next February.  She already has pleaded guilty to separate local charges.  (Associated Press,

L.A. Local Boss Testifies at Trial; Reveals Labor’s Political Ties

Labor leaders have been called many names, but “naive” hasn’t been among the more common of them.  Yet Janett Humphries, formerly one of Los Angeles’ more powerful union officials, made naivete her prime line of defense in her recent criminal trial.  Humphries for more than a decade had been president of Service Employees International Union Local 99.  She enjoyed close ties to Martin Ludlow, a former Los Angeles City Council Member and also ex-head of the 825,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.  Those ties proved too close.  Federal prosecutors early this year charged Humphries, 63, with misusing her office to provide financial aid to Ludlow’s successful 2003 city council election campaign.  Ludlow pleaded guilty this March to conspiracy to divert union funds to the campaign.  Humphries chose to take her federal case to trial; she pleaded guilty to two separate local charges.…

Former President of Los Angeles Union Pleads Not Guilty

Janett Humphries, the former Service Employees International Union official in Los Angeles accused of embezzlement and perjury, has pleaded not guilty.  She’s facing a pair of court visits on federal and local charges.  As president of SEIU Local 99 during 2002-03, Humphries allegedly stole more than $80,000 in union funds.  Well over $30,000 of that money went for the election campaign of former Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow under the listing of payroll and cell phone expenses.  She also embezzled union funds for travel expenses for children and friends.  Humphries is scheduled for trial in the federal case July 25; she’s due back to face local charges on August 16.  Ludlow already has pleaded guilty in federal court for his participation in the scheme, and in June received five years probation, and was ordered to serve 2,000 hours of community service and make

Los Angeles School Workers Local Chieftain Pleads Not Guilty

Janett Humphries isn’t like her former ally, Martin Ludlow:   She thinks she can beat the rap.  For her sake, she’d better be right.  She’s facing a maximum of five years in federal prison on each of 18 counts.  On Monday, March 20, Ms. Humphries, formerly president of SEIU Local 99, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles to embezzling $36,000 in 2003 to help Ludlow get elected to the Los Angeles City Council; she allegedly also used union funds on travel expenses for relatives and a friend.   


It will be an uphill case.  Ludlow took prosecutors’ plea-bargain offer for his role in embezzling funds, and is expected to testify against Humphries.  Having left the City Council last year to head the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, he’s facing a restitution order and a 13-year ban on