Pennsylvania Teachers Official Pleads Guilty to Thefts; Sentenced

For five years, Rae Dawn Grillo embezzled union funds. She’s now going to spend the next five years under close supervision. On August 27, Grillo, formerly treasurer of the Charleroi Area Education Association, pleaded guilty in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) to thefts from the union totaling $65,963. She then was sentenced to nine months of electronic home monitoring, five years of probation and 200 hours of community service. She also was ordered to repay residual restitution in the amount of $8,175. Grillo had been charged in February following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

According to court records, Grillo, 55, a resident of Fallowfield Township, Pa. and a former speech therapist with the Charleroi School District, during 2007-12 made unauthorized withdrawals from a union checking account. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, an … Read More ➡

Ironworkers Bookkeeper in Illinois Charged with Records Fraud

Iron Workers logoOn August 25, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper of Iron Workers Local 63, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with one count of making a false entry in the financial records of the Broadview, Ill. (suburban Chicago) union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

New Hampshire Power Plant Security Officers Official Charged

Seabrook nuclear power plantOn August 12, Gregory Paradis, former chief steward of United Federation of Special Police and Security Officers (UFSPSO) Local 501, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in a one-count indictment with embezzling funds in an unspecified amount from the Seabrook, N.H. union, which represents workers at the nuclear power plant in that community.  UFSPSO, headquartered in Briarcliff Manor (Westchester County), N.Y., is distinct from another security employees union, the National Association of Special Police and Security Officers (NASPSO).  The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Virginia Police Officers Charged with Embezzling from Union

Police badgeCops normally enforce the law.  Randolph Brann and Jacob Wright, both cops, apparently broke it.  On September 2, Brann and Wright, veteran officers with the Norfolk, Virginia Police Department, were charged with four counts each of felony embezzlement from their union, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.  They were placed on administrative leave and will remain there pending the results of an internal investigation.  No court dated yet has been set.

According to the grand jury indictments, Officers Brann and Wright, who had served on the Norfolk police force for seven years, stole funds from their union of an unspecified amount during January 1, 2011-December 1, 2014.  Brann, 49, who was part of a fugitive unit that won a top cop award in 2014, was union president until he resigned the latter post several years ago.  Wright, 35, served as union treasurer.  Michael McKenna, a national representative for the … Read More ➡

Secretary-Treasurer of Metro Phoenix Transit Union Sentenced

ATU logoIt took more than six years for Richard Wayne Johnson to be found out as an embezzler.  And it took more than three years for justice to prevail.  What matters in the end is that it did.  On September 14, Johnson, former secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to 18 months in prison, plus three years of probation upon release, for stealing almost $275,000 from the Phoenix-based transit workers union.  He also was ordered to pay full restitution.  Johnson had pleaded guilty this June following an investigation by the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Johnson, now 49, a resident of Surprise (near Phoenix), Ariz., became secretary-treasurer of ATU Local 1433 in 2005 after serving a few years as vice president.  Eventually, certain union members noticed their organization was short on funds.  In the … Read More ➡

AFGE Local President in Maine Charged with Records Fraud

afge logo_0On August 7, Mark Durinski, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 294, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine with three counts of making false statements on financial reports of the Limestone, Maine-based local.  The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

American Allied Workers Local President in Illinois Charged

On August 6, Jimmy Bynum, president of American Allied Workers Local 944, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois with one count of embezzling funds of an unspecified sum from the Pembroke Township (Kankakee County), Ill.-based union.  The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

New Study Finds Right to Work Laws Don’t Reduce Wages

Righ to Work posterWorkers might not like being forced to pay dues to a union, but they should be grateful anyway because they see more on their paychecks – so goes a common justification offered by union officials for such coercion. Yet a new Heritage Foundation Issue Brief makes a convincing case that this view leaves out at least as much as it includes. The author, Heritage fellow and labor issues analyst James Sherk, concludes that after fully taking into account the cost of living, private-sector wages in states with Right to Work laws (i.e., laws barring forced dues payments) are not significantly different from those in states without such laws. Moreover, while Right to Work laws do slightly reduce public employee pay, they also save taxpayers money. The study is at once a sequel and a rebuke to one published in April by the Left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

The National Labor Relations … Read More ➡

Utility Workers President in Western Pennsylvania Sentenced

utility-workers-logoOn August 20, Michael Trembulak, former president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 475, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to five months of incarceration, to be followed by six months of home confinement and three years of supervised release, for embezzling funds from the Rochester (Beaver County), Pa.-based union.  He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $31,528.  Trembulak had pleaded guilty in March after being indicted in July 2014.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Detroit CWA Vice President Charged with Embezzlement

Communications Workers logoOn August 18, Karen McJimpson, former executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 4004, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with embezzling about $19,000 in funds from the Detroit union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡