Cleveland-Area Steelworkers Boss Indicted for Tax Evasion

As if he didn’t have enough problems, David Sager has something new to worry about. On April 4, Sager, former president of United Steelworkers Local 5000, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on three counts of filing false tax returns. The charges grew out of income he allegedly had derived from diverting funds from the Cleveland-area union to his own personal use. He had been indicted last September on nine counts of embezzlement, 18 counts of mail fraud, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of making a false statement. All the charges follow a joint investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

United Steelworkers Local 5000, based in Middleburg, Ohio, represents about 100 employees of various Great Lakes shipping companies. David Sager headed the union from 1999 until last April. There was a good reason …

Machinists Secretary in Connecticut Charged with Theft; Pleads Guilty

On April 5, Andrew Thibodeau, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1433, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in a one-count information with embezzling more than $70,000 in funds from the Kensington-based union. He then pleaded guilty. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Letter Carriers Treasurer in Indiana Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On March 29, Fenna Saylors, former treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 378, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of embezzling $16,647 in funds from the Marion, Ind. union. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Boilermakers Officials Continue High Living with Member Dues

Labor unions rarely skimp on salary and benefits, especially for those at the top. Yet for sheer audacity, few are the equal of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. An investigative report published this past Saturday in the Kansas City Star, a follow-up to an expose of several years ago, is an apt reminder. The author of each, Judy Thomas, plumbed publicly-available financial records of the union, concluding that officials and support staff have continued to indulge expensive tastes at members’ expense. National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Ken Boehm, quoted in the new article, had this to say: “This is so over the top. It really tells you that there aren’t the kinds of checks and balances that are supposed to be there.” A number of local affiliates aren’t so happy about this either.

When it comes to compensation for union office jobs, nobody does it quite like the …

Insulators Secretary in Minnesota Sentenced for Embezzlement

On March 29, Scot McNamara, former financial secretary for International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to four months of house arrest and two years of probation for embezzling $8,871 in funds from the St. Paul union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution, plus a $3,000 fine, a $100 special assessment and a $4,000 reimbursement to the Treasury Department for the cost of legal representation. McNamara pled guilty last December after being charged in July. Former local business manager Keith Christopherson also had been convicted of embezzlement in that case. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Boilermakers Secretary-Treasurer in Virginia Sentenced

On March 29, William Dixon, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 2014, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Lebanon, Va.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $3,408 in restitution on top of the $930 he already paid. Dixon had pleaded guilty last December immediately following his being charged. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

Northern Illinois Maintenance of Way Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

On March 27, Michael Schofield, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local 1046, was sentenced to eight months in prison and one year of supervised release for making false entries in financial records of the Plainfield, Ill.-based union for the purpose of concealing unauthorized loans totaling $31,850.  He also was ordered to pay $30,641 in restitution and a $25 fine.  Schofield had filed an amended plea this January following a one-count information and an original plea last June.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

California LIUNA Boss Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For more than two years, Edward Padilla used his union for personal spending.  He’s now likely to spend time in prison.  On March 27, Padilla, former secretary-treasurer and business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to one count of embezzlement in the sum of $168,780 from the Bakersfield construction union.  As part of his plea, Padilla agreed to make full restitution.  He had been charged on March 3.  Sentencing is set for July 10.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Padilla, now 56, a resident of Bakersfield, during September 2012-December 2014 wrote unauthorized checks from a union account that were rubber-stamped with the president’s signature; used two union-issued credit cards to make more than 200 personal purchases; and obtained reimbursements for unauthorized sick …

Civilian Technicians President in Washington State Indicted for Theft

On March 27, Casey Cortese, former president of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 108, was indicted in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Wash., on one count of theft of funds from the Lakewood (Tacoma area) union in an amount of more than $27,000. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.…

SEIU Puts Michigan Health Care Affiliate in Trusteeship, Probes Possible Fraud

Financial malpractice rarely goes out of season among a number of health care affiliates of the Service Employees International Union. On February 14, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry placed SEIU Healthcare Michigan under emergency trusteeship following allegations by an unnamed internal whistleblower that two of its top officials had abused the Detroit-based union’s loan and vacation policies. Henry removed Marge Robinson and Shalaya Bryant, respectively, the union president and secretary-treasurer, and replaced them with three trustees to manage day-to-day affairs. While no dollar figure on the missing funds is available, evidence suggests it is substantial. The union, as it was, had been bleeding membership after the enactment by the Michigan legislature of Right to Work legislation several years ago.

Marge Faville Robinson, a nurse by profession, had done well for herself heading SEIU Healthcare Michigan (HCMI). According to the annual financial data submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, her …

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