On September 24, Thomas Flaherty, a former member of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82 (taken over in 2011 by Teamsters Local 25), was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to two years of probation for fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits from the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development. He also was ordered to pay $21,011 in restitution and a $1,000 fine. He had pleaded guilty in June. Flaherty previously had been accused, along with three other Local 82 members, of running an intimidation racket against participants at Boston trade shows. He was acquitted in that case, but couldn’t walk in this one. The plea and sentencing follow a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department and the Boston Police Department.… Read More ➡
On October 6, James Coffey Jr., former president of United Steelworkers Local 5-887, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on two counts of embezzling $7,098 in funds from the Newell, W.Va.-based union. Coffey, 54, a resident of Bergholz, Ohio, allegedly used a union debit card to pay for personal expenses and wrote unauthorized checks to himself from a union bank account. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On September 30, Alton Alexander, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 2-479, was charged in the 8th District Court of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, with one count of misdemeanor embezzlement of between $200 and $1,000 from the Plainwell, Mich.-based local. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On October 2, Gregory Paradis, former chief steward of United Federation of Special Police and Security Officers (UFSPSO) Local 501, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to embezzling $13,493 in funds from the union, which represents workers at the Seabrook, N.H. nuclear power plant. Paradis had been charged in August following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
It’s hard to imagine theft from an American labor union having anything to do with Arab politics. But federal prosecutors are convinced they have found a connection. And that’s not the only problem in this case. Yesterday, on October 28, the FBI and the Labor Department announced the indictment of three Maryland men – Anthony Frederick, Gary Cooper and Christopher Kwegan – for theft, fraud, money laundering, and bribe-taking related to the disappearance of more than $1.7 million from the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 657. Frederick is a former business manager of the union; Cooper and Kwegan are co-owners of a Greenbelt, Md.-based construction firm, STS General Contracting.
According to the indictment, during May 2013-June 2014 Anthony Frederick, 49, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Md., used his position as business manager for Laborers Local 657 to divert more than $1.7 million in local funds … Read More ➡
On September 17, Edward Mason, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2274, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of making false entries in financial statements of the Saginaw-based union. The plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
On September 14, Mark Durinski, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 294, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine to three counts of making false statements in annual financial reports in connection with his claims of travel and other expenses for which he already had been reimbursed by his employer, the Defense Finance Accounting Service. As part of his plea agreement, he also will have to make restitution in the amount of $53,544 to the Limestone, Maine union. Durinski, now 63, had been charged on August 7. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 31, Edward Barker, former vice president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 899, was charged in the Hennepin County Court of Minnesota with one count of theft from the Minneapolis-based union in the amount of $1,790 during March 2013-July 2013. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On August 27, Cynthia Angulo, former president of the Currency and Security Handlers Association, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to one count of embezzling $61,200 in funds from the Houston-based union, an affiliate of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA). The plea follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Conducting union business and performing employment duties are two activities that don’t, and shouldn’t, overlap. Yet in a number of jurisdictions, taxpayers are being forced to pay for both. In Arizona, at least, this trend has hit a detour. This August, the Arizona Court of Appeals, affirming a lower court decision, ruled that a Memorandum of Understanding forcing the City of Phoenix to compensate local cops for union activity, while not necessarily violating the state constitution’s Gift Clause, imposed grossly excessive costs. This was a significant, if incomplete victory for public accountability. And further pushback against release time clauses is occurring in courts and legislatures across the nation.
Public-sector unions are private organizations. Their activity does not serve a public purpose. While government workers have the right to form or join a labor organization, there is no reasonable justification for allowing them to forcibly enlisting the general public to … Read More ➡