Union Corruption Update

Since 1997, NLPC has become a high-profile and credible source for information about America’s labor unions through our publication Union Corruption Update.

The newsletter has been referenced in many other media outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and National Journal.

Ex-SEIU Local Treasurer in Los Angeles Pleads Guilty to Theft

Service Employees logo On September 8, Cedric Hughes, former treasurer of the United Union of Professionals, also known as Service Employees International Union Local 721, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of embezzlement of funds from the Los Angeles union in the amount of $15,193. The union represents local health care workers. Hughes had been indicted last December on five counts of wire fraud and one count of embezzlement following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

IBEW Local Business Manager in Texas Sentenced for Theft

IBEW logoOn September 12, James Jones, former business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 898, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to six months in prison and three months of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the San Angelo-based union in the amount of $11,164. Jones, indicted in January, had pleaded guilty in April. He already has paid full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Ohio Steelworkers Local Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn September 12, Robert Mays, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 561, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $24,833. He had been charged in July. The charge and guilty plea follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Wisconsin Local Steelworkers President Charged with Theft

Steelworkers logo Arthur Homa, former president of Steelworkers Local 2-47, was charged in Brown County, Wisconsin Circuit Court with one count of felony theft in an amount between $2,500 and $5,000 from the Green Bay union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer in Central Illinois Sentenced

AFSCME logoOn March 27, Robert Lewis, former secretary-treasurer for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3585, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to four months in prison and one year of supervised release, with the first eight months in home confinement, for embezzling $77,469 in funds from the Canton (near Peoria), Ill.-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 assessment. Lewis had pleaded guilty in April. AFSCME Local 3585 represents employees at the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton. The actions follow the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Transportation Union Treasurer in Nebraska Indicted for Embezzlement

United Transportation Union logoOn August 19, Richard Molczyk, former treasurer for United Transportation Union Local 493, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska for embezzlement of $13,196 in funds from the Omaha union. The indictment, which was unsealed on September 4, follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Why Is California Labor Board Trying to Force Union Membership on Farm Workers?

farm workersUnder federal law, workers have as much right to leave a union as they do to form one. Yet that principal may not necessarily apply in California. For at least the past year a de facto alliance between the United Farm Workers (UFW) and a state agency, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, has been making it very difficult for employees of a major grower, the Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, to decertify the UFW as their bargaining agent. And the workers are signaling their frustration. On August 26, hundreds of Gerawan workers marched on the board's Visalia regional office to demand a count of a decertification vote held last November. The board's justification for its inaction is that Gerawan broke the law in various ways. Yet there has been no investigation of the UFW-driven allegations.

Suburban NYC Teachers Union Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Nearly $800K in Thefts

American Federation of Teachers logoEducators normally aren't the kinds of people who steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. Frank Gluberman is the exception to the rule. On August 13, Gluberman, formerly teacher and then assistant principal at Woodlands High School in Greenburgh, N.Y., pleaded guilty in Westchester County Criminal Court to embezzling nearly $800,000 over a seven-year period from his union, the Greenburgh Teachers' Federation (GTF), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. Gluberman had been arrested this past January in the wake of an internal union audit and subsequent U.S. Department of Labor investigation. He faces up to 15 years in prison at sentencing in December, though the plea agreement calls for a one-to-three year sentence upon full payment of restitution.

Alaska Carpenters Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Carpenters logoOn August 8, Jonathan Smith, former financial secretary of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 2247, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska to embezzling $41,770 from the Juneau union over a five-year period. He had been indicted in April following an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Treasurer in Oregon Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

United Steelworkers logoOn August 7, Brandon Kent, former treasurer for United Steelworkers Local 12-1097, pleaded guilty in the State of Oregon, Circuit Court of Clatsop County (in the northwest corner of the state), to two counts of theft from the Westport, Ore.-based union. He then was sentenced to 30 days in prison and three years of supervised probation, and was ordered to pay $19,911 in restitution and a $200 fine. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Security Professionals Secretary-Treasurer in Washington, D.C. Pleads Guilty

Security Professionals logoOn August 28, Milton Hilliard, former secretary-treasurer of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 287, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of embezzlement in the amount of $34,612 from the Washington, D.C.-based union. He had made unauthorized cash withdrawals and personal purchases from a union account. Hilliard had been charged in July with embezzling $25,575. The charge and plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Maryland Building Contractor Pleads Guilty to IBEW Benefits Fraud

IBEW logoMichael Sewell avoided making benefit contributions by avoiding the necessary paperwork. His good luck streak was bound to end. On August 27, Sewell, owner-operator of MESCO Inc., a suburban Baltimore HVAC and plumbing supplier-service contractor, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to one count of falsifying a document related to a benefit plan sponsored by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 24. Sewell had been charged in July following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards, Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General.

Unions Renew Misguided $15/hr. Fast Food Minimum Wage Campaign

minimum wage protestLabor officials are about the last people to be impressed by evidence that hiking the minimum wage drives up entry-level unemployment. These last several weeks they've been putting words into action in targeting fast food restaurants. Unions, led by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are retooling their campaign to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage for fast food employees, more than double the current $7.25 an hour basic federal minimum. Hundreds of protestors, though not necessarily union members, were arrested for blocking traffic on Labor Day. President Obama voiced his approval of the campaign that day in a speech. And the SEIU has called for a nationwide strike.

Obama Labor Department Spent $700,000+ on Leftist Propaganda

DOL posterDepartment of Labor officials these past several years haven't been shy about conveying their political preferences to their own labor force. An ongoing Capitol Hill probe has found out as much. Late last month the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report concluding that the Obama-era department has spent at least $725,000 on elevator posters, publicity contests and other forms of advocacy intended to boost employee morale. Most, if not all, of this motivational agitprop was the doing of first-term Secretary Hilda Solis. Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a longtime critic, noted: "This questionable activity has been going on for some time. As my staff has learned, in 2009 DOL began producing weekly elevator posters for the 23 passenger elevators at DOL's headquarters in Washington, D.C." Tax-funded ideology marches on.

St. Louis Mail Handlers President Convicted of Embezzlement

LIUNA logoOn September 11, Anthony Davis, former president of National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 314, an affiliate of the Laborers union, was convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on one count of embezzling $40,659 in funds from the St. Louis-based union. He had been indicted in April following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. Prosecutors had alleged that Davis, 51, a resident of O'Fallon, Ill., submitted fake invoices to the union and pocketed the reimbursements. Though maintaining his innocence, a jury, after a five-day trial, convicted him. Sentencing is set for early December.

Ex-Orange County Print Shop Workers President, Treasurer Sentenced

Graphics workerConsidering what they most likely stole, Ryan Sherard and Fred Correll caught a break. On August 4, Sherard, former president of Graphic Communications International Union District Council 2, a Fullerton, Calif.-based Teamster affiliate, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service for filing a false union financial report related to his theft of more than $9,600 in union funds and filing a false tax return. That same day, Correll, ex-council treasurer, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine plus interest. Sherard and Correll, respectively, had pleaded guilty on April 23 and April 29. The actions follow a probe by the IRS and the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

IBEW Dues Clerk in Detroit Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

IBEW logoAnn Marie Shaffer was too clever by a half. On August 7, Shaffer, formerly the dues clerk for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of embezzling funds from the Detroit-based union in the amount of $101,059. The plea follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

SE Virginia Local Postal Workers President Sentenced

Postal Workers logoOn August 4, Eric Barnett, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 171, was sentenced in the Circuit Court of the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, to four years of probation for embezzling funds from the Portsmouth union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,212. Barnett had pleaded guilty in May after being indicted last November. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Bricklayers Local Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Indicted for Theft

Bricklayers logoOn July 31, Brian Stoneburner, former secretary-treasurer of International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 44, was indicted in Perry County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, on one count of grand theft of between $7,500 and $150,000 from the Newark, Ohio-based union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Locomotive Engineers Secretary in Kansas Indicted for Theft

BLET logoOn July 30, Dale Hull, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 261, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in a five-count indictment with embezzling more than $14,000 in funds from the Herington, Kan. union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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