Court Reinstates Conviction of New Jersey Electrical Workers Business Agent

IBEW logoFor a while, Richard “Buzzy” Dressel wasn’t certain whether he would be headed for prison. He’s more certain now. On August 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated the jury guilty verdict of Dressel, former business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164, on charges of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Paramus, N.J.-based union and its job training fund. In reversing U.S. District Judge William Martini’s decision of April 2014 that had tossed out two embezzlement convictions, the appellate court stated: “The jury’s verdict was not irrational, as there was sufficient evidence to convict Dressel of embezzling union funds.” Dressel allegedly had used the money to provide his girlfriend (and now wife) with a no-show union job and to bankroll her catering business with a no-bid contract.

Union Corruption Update reported on this case twice before. Back in November 2012, Richard … Read More ➡

Plumbers Ex-Business Manager in West Virginia Charged with Benefits Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn October 6, Jeffrey Beresford, former business manager and financial secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia with two counts of embezzling funds from the joint apprenticeship program of the Wheeling union. Beresford, 55, a resident of Cameron, W.Va., allegedly used position as a program trustee to write unauthorized checks from its bank account. The alleged offense is separate from a financial records fraud charge in 2013 to which Beresford pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,507 in restitution. The new charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Security Officers Treasurer in Colorado Pleads Guilty

UGSOAOn October 14, Christopher Headlee, former treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to one count of falsifying records of the Colorado Springs-based union.  The plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Pennsylvania Local IBEW President Indicted for Embezzlement

IBEW logoOn October 13, Robin Pirrello, former president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1637, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $22,184 in funds from the Erie-based union.  Prosecutors allege that Ms. Pirrello during October 2010-August 2011 wrote and cashed union checks to herself; obtained unauthorized salary advances after she had left office; obtained unauthorized per diem travel reimbursements; and made unauthorized payments to a business entity.  The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Bookkeeper for Chicago-Area Ironworkers Local Pleads Guilty

Iron Workers logoOn October 8, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper for Iron Workers Local 63, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of making false entries in the records of the Broadview (suburban Chicago), Ill.-based union to conceal her acts of embezzlement totaling $47,161.  She had been charged in August.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Plumbers Secretary in Cleveland Pleads Guilty to Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn October 26, Heather Banhidy, former office secretary for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 120, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement $13,906 in funds from the Cleveland union. She had been indicted on August 12 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Pennsylvania Amends Anti-Stalking Law; Removes ‘Labor Dispute’ Exemption

Iron Workers logoStalking is ugly behavior. By intent, it inflicts fear of violence upon another person or persons. And frequently it is a prelude to actual violence. Yet in a number of states, such behavior is protected under law if it can be justified as promoting one’s interests in a labor dispute. Pennsylvania, to its credit, is no longer on that list. Last Thursday, November 5, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law repealing a loophole that had given unions the right to stalk, harass and even use a “weapon of mass destruction” as an organizing tool. The new law, in the works for more than two years, applies to employers and unions alike. Yet on a practical level, its main intent is to discourage union terror at nonunion work sites. Predictably, the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFL-CIO opposes the measure.

Back in February 2013 and again in February 2014Read More ➡

Kentucky Steelworkers Local Employee Indicted for Embezzlement

steelworkers-logoOn October 8, Dawn Colley, former employee of United Steelworkers Local 8-719, was charged in a three-count indictment in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky for embezzling $7,201 in funds from the Ashland, Ky. union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Steelworkers Local Treasurer in Pennsylvania Sentenced for Theft

steelworkers-logoOn October 7, David Deitrick, former financial secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 10-1338, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation, and ordered to pay $8,993 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the Shamokin (Northumberland County), Pa.-based union.  Deitrick had pleaded guilty in April following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Boston Teamster Sentenced for Unemployment Fraud

teamsters-logoOn 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 ➡