Montana Plumbers Secretary Sentenced for Embezzlement

On April 12, Alicia Rooney, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 459, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana to three months in prison and three years of probation for embezzling funds from the Missoula-based union and a related benefit plan. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $163,554.95 and a $100 special assessment. Rooney had pleaded guilty last November to embezzling a combined $171,804 from local general and benefit funds after being indicted that August. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFGE President in New Jersey Pleads to Theft

On April 4, Sharon Williams-Savage, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2425, pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County, to one count of theft from the East Orange, N.J.-based union. She had been indicted in December 2015 on two counts of misapplication of entrusted property exceeding $1,000 and one count of unlawful taking of property exceeding $500. Though the union is based in Essex County, the offenses occurred in nearby Passaic County. Sentencing is scheduled for June. The actions follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the New Jersey State Criminal Division.… Read More ➡

Secretary of UFCW Local in Louisiana Indicted for Theft

On March 29, Tyler Farrar, former financial secretary for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 88C, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana with embezzling funds of an unspecified sum from the Bastrop union. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Secretary in Ohio Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On March 28, Ronald Coldren, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 207, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $30,639 from the Findlay-based union. He had been indicted in November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Paramedics Union Treasurer in Milwaukee Sentenced for Theft

On March 23, Estes Evans, former treasurer of International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local R7-33, was sentenced to six months of home confinement and five years of supervised release for embezzling $44,446.86 in funds from the Milwaukee union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Evans had pleaded guilty in December after being charged in June. IAEP is an affiliate of the National Association of Government Employees, itself an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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BLET Chairman in Illinois Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On March 20, Michael Taylor, ex-general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 815, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to a one-count information charging him with embezzling $24,868.80 in funds from the Joliet-based union. He’s not the only official in this union with a penchant for theft. Last May former Division 815 secretary-treasurer Thomas Miller pleaded guilty to embezzlement from the union. He would be sentenced in November to two years of probation, and ordered to pay $21,070 in restitution and a $2,000 fine. Each case follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFGE Treasurer in Twin Cities Area Pleads Guilty to Theft

On March 16, Latasha Wilson, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1969, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County (Minn.) District Court to one count of theft by swindle in the sum of more than $35,000 from the Minneapolis-based union. Wilson had been charged last October of stealing $58,150 during January 2013-December 2015. Although Minneapolis is in Hennepin County, she was charged in neighboring Ramsey County, where the offenses occurred. AFGE Local 1969 represents employees at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Indiana SMART Officer Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

On March 14, Thomas H. Rodgers Jr., former general chairman of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), General Committee of Adjustment 247 pleaded guilty in the Indiana 32nd Judicial Circuit Court, LaPorte County, to theft of funds from the formerly LaPorte-based union in the amount of $3,672.45. he then was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay full restitution. Rodgers had been charged last July following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

NLRB Restores Coercive Obama-Era Joint Employer Rule; Confusion Remains

For several years unions have been waging a furious battle to force large employers to collectively bargain alongside their contractors and franchisees, even if they have next to nothing to do with workplace operations. Now, once again, the National Labor Relations Board must address the central question: What is an employer? Last December the NLRB reversed its Obama-era ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries that widened the basis for classifying a parent company as a “dual” or “joint” employer. In Hy-Brand, the board, by 3-2, ruled that the old standard must apply. This restoration would be brief. Weeks later, the board, faced with a conflict-of-interest issue, withdrew its decision. For now, organized labor has prevailed. But the fate of the controversy may lie in the courts.

Union Corruption Update visited this deceptively crucial issue in July 2014 and again in September 2015. In each case, the focus was … Read More ➡

Ex-New Jersey UAW Boss Pleads Guilty to Massive Benefit Fraud

Given what he and his partner in crime stole, Sergio Acosta may well be getting off lightly. Last Friday, April 6, Acosta, former president and then representative of the Edison, N.J.-based United Auto Workers Local 2326, pleaded guilty in Trenton federal court to a superseding information count for theft, embezzlement and fund conversion related to a scheme to defraud a union-sponsored health care plan and a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate out of a combined $6.6 million by recruiting hundreds of ineligible participants. He and Lawrence Ackerman, a New Jersey business executive, had been indicted in January 2017 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to prosecutors, Acosta, formerly a resident of New Jersey and now a resident of Puerto Rico, used his union positions, including that of benefit fund trustee, to coordinate an elaborate … Read More ➡

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