Virgin Islands Police Union Boss Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Virgin IslandsDonald Liburd was a cop and a union president. But that didn’t make him immune to becoming a criminal as well. On November 12, Liburd, who had been president of the St. Thomas-St. John Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and a detective on the local police force, pleaded guilty in Virgin Islands Superior Court to embezzling $65,073 in union funds. He then was sentenced to four years in prison, of which three and a half years would be suspended, plus three and a half years of probation upon release. “This is a tragic circumstance when an officer sworn to uphold the law violates the law,” said Superior Court Judge Michael Dunston. Liburd had been arrested this past March following a lengthy investigation. He had resigned his duties as PBA president in the summer of 2011.

Union Corruption Update twice has covered this story. Back in August 2011, members of the Police … Read More ➡

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GM’s Balance Sheet Not as Healthy as it Looks

GM UAW logosOne of the major architects of the General Motors bankruptcy process, Harry Wilson, recently gave a very optimistic outlook for GM future share price. Mr. Wilson was a member of President Obama’s Auto Task Force, and was an instrumental player in seeing that UAW interests were put ahead of other creditors, like old GM bondholders.

Automotive News now reports that Mr. Wilson feels that GM may be a target for activists because of their “huge” cash hoard. According to the piece:

“Any company that isn’t efficient about capital allocation is a target for activists,” said Wilson, who is now a restructuring adviser at Maeva Group LLC in Westchester, N.Y. “GM has a huge cash hoard and they are generating lots more cash each year, so they need to be thoughtful about that.”

The problem with Mr. Wilson’s statement regarding GM’s balance sheet improving is that it just isn’t true. The … Read More ➡

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Supreme Court Hears Challenge to UNITE HERE-Florida Casino ‘Neutrality Agreement’

They’re called “neutrality agreements.” Their supporters say they promote labor peace during union organizing drives. Yet too often these pacts grant a union a blank check to box in a targeted employer. Fittingly, not all workers are happy about this. On November 13, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over the extent to which federal law allows a union to use a neutrality agreement to extract concessions. The case, UNITE HERE Local 355 v. Mulhall et al., has its origins in a complaint by an employee of a Florida dog track-casino following the employer’s agreement with the union in 2004. A federal appeals court in January 2012 had ruled 2-1 that the arrangement violated a section of the Taft-Hartley Act barring an employer from offering things of value to a union – and vice versa. A decision is expected by next June.

Whenever a union decides to launch an … Read More ➡

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Office Secretary for Oklahoma Carpenters Local Pleads Guilty

carpenters-logoOn November 5, Angela Webster, former office secretary for United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 943, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma to embezzlement of $13,015 in funds from the Tulsa-based union. She had been indicted in September. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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AFGE President in New York City Sentenced for Embezzlement

On November 1, Federck Petro, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2094, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to six months of home confinement and three years of probation for embezzling $112,477 from the Manhattan union, which represents VA hospital employees. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Petro, who had served as local president during February 2006-July 2008, wrote nearly 200 unauthorized union checks for his own benefit. He had been arrested in December 2011, and pleaded guilty in February of this year following a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Veterans Affairs Department’s Office of Inspector General.


New York City AFGE President Arrested for $100K+ in TheftsRead More ➡

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Former Business Manager of New Jersey IBEW Local Convicted

IBEW logoThere’s nothing wrong with a man spending money to make his lady feel special – as long as it’s his own money. Richard Dressel apparently thought little of that principle. Earlier today, a Newark, N.J. federal jury convicted Dressel, the former business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164, on two of eight counts for his participation in various illegal schemes to benefit him, his unindicted girlfriend (and now-wife) Kathleen Libonati, and union president John DeBouter. Last November, Dressel and DeBouter were arrested and indicted for embezzling a combined roughly $350,000 from the Paramus, N.J.-based union and its Joint Apprentice Training Fund. DeBouter was relieved from trial last week after his lawyer collapsed from an aneurysm.

Union Corruption Update described this case in August. Federal prosecutors had alleged Richard “Buzzy” Dressel, now 64, a resident of Montvale, N.J., used his position as IBEW business manager to … Read More ➡

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IUPAT Local Secretary in Ohio Pleads No Contest; Sentenced

On November 1, James DeVolld, former financial secretary of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 356, pleaded no contest in Zanesville, Ohio Municipal Court to theft in the sum of $2,375 from the Zanesville-based union. He then was sentenced to 10 days in prison, two years of probation, and was ordered to make full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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United Transportation Union Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Sentenced

utu-logoOn October 28, Michael Zaborski, former secretary-treasurer for United Transportation Union Local 1962, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to five years probation for embezzling $41,226.54 in funds from the Fremont, Ohio union. He also was ordered to pay outstanding restitution in the amount of $39,829. Zaborski had been indicted in May, and pleaded guilty in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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Taxpayers Tally Losses as Treasury Exits GM Stake

money down the drainIt appears the time has finally come for the Obama Administration to end taxpayers’ forced investment in General Motors. Reports continue to roll in that Treasury is expected to sell its remaining stake by year-end. Of course, the news will be trumpeted as a great success by those responsible for the heist that cost taxpayers (along with creditors and shareholders of old GM) billions of dollars.

The final figures confirming how taxpayers fared will have to wait for the closing tally, but the estimated loss to those who footed the GM bailout bill is in the $10 billion range. A full retrospective view will reveal that the losses go far beyond that monetary sum. Worse yet, the money was spent to reward political allies that would, in return for the payoff, come out in force to secure President Obama’s reelection.

The hyperbolic spin by General Motors and the Obama … Read More ➡

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Head of New Mexico Signalmen Local Indicted for Embezzlement

Railroad Signalmen logoOn October 29, Jacob Barkemeyer, former chairman and treasurer of Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Local Lodge 172, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico for embezzling $8,131 in funds from the Las Lunas, N.M.-based union. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

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