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.

Washington State Letter Carriers Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty

Letter Carriers logoOn April 1, Henry Mayer, former financial secretary of National Association of Letter Carriers Local 852, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington to one count of embezzlement of an unspecified sum from the Yakima-based union.  Mayer had been indicted on March 25 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE Local President in Indiana Pleads Guilty to Theft

AFGE logoOn March 30, Curtis Bullick, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3254, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to theft of property of an unspecified amount from the Bunker Hill, Ind.-based union.  Bullick had been charged on March 13 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Chicago BLET Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Records Fraud

BLET logoOn March 2, Kimberly Hesla, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 474, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Illinois to one year of probation, and was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and a special assessment of $25, for falsifying financial records of the Chicago-based union.  She had pleaded guilty in November after being charged in October.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

BLET Secretary in West Virginia Indicted for Embezzlement

BLET logoOn March 3, Nathan McCallister, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 101, a Teamsters affiliate, was charged in the Summers County Court of West Virginia with one count of embezzlement in an amount of more than $1,000.  The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Virginia Fire Fighters Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

IAFF logoSheron Gibson won the trust of his union – too much, in fact.  On March 5, Gibson, a former firefighter for the City of Suffolk, Va. fire department, pleaded guilty in a state court to one count each of embezzlement and forgery in connection with his theft of about $109,000 from International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2801, where he was secretary-treasurer for a half-decade.  He had been indicted last June on 12 counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery following a police investigation.  Gibson has made full restitution.

Letter Carriers Treasurer in SE Virginia Sentenced for Embezzlement

Letter Carriers logoOn March 25, Choi Hawks, former secretary-treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 6066, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to six months of home detention and five years of supervised probation for embezzling $10,744 in funds from the Chesapeake, Va.-based union.  He also was ordered to attend counseling sessions.  Hawks, who pleaded guilty last December after being charged in November, has paid full restitution in the sum of $11,196.  The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

ILA Financial Secretary in Houston Charged with Theft

Longshoreman at workOn March 18, Elmer Ray Booker, former financial secretary for International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1530, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas with embezzling over $42,000 in funds from the Houston union.  The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Report Shows Missouri Taxpayers Subsidize Public-Sector Unions

Union compensationUnions, even those representing government employees, are private organizations.  Yet a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reveals that taxpayers in one state effectively are being forced to cover some of the costs of public-sector union official business.  The study, authored by CEI labor policy analyst Trey Kovacs and titled, “A Remedy for Taxpayer Giveaway to Unions” (March 25, 2015), in the face of considerable resistance, dug up clear evidence that state and local government agencies in Missouri are subsidizing public-sector unions during working hours without loss of member pay.  These “release time” clauses, built into collective bargaining agreements, are at odds with the public interest, deceptively costly, and almost certainly illegal.

Ironworkers Secretary in New Orleans Sentenced for Embezzlement

Iron Workers logoOn March 25, Andrea Hobgood, former secretary for Ironworkers Local 58, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $3,600 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the New Orleans-based union.  She previously had paid $14,039 in restitution.  Hobgood had pleaded guilty last March after being charged in January.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Ohio CWA Local Financial Secretary Pleads Guilty to Theft

Communications Workers logoOn March 19, Thomas Wolfer, former financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 84729, pleaded guilty in the State of Ohio, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, to one count of theft in an unspecified amount from the Fayetteville, Ohio union.  The plea follows a joint investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheet Metal Workers Office Manager in Pittsburgh Sentenced

Sheet Metal Workers logoOn March 11, Jennifer Gent, former office manager for Sheet Metal Workers Local 12, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to three years of probation, the first ten months of which must be served in home detention, for embezzling $30,297 in funds from the Pittsburgh union’s Journeymen Apprentice Training Fund.  She also was ordered to pay full restitution.  Gent pleaded guilty last November after being indicted in April.  The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  

President of Kansas AFGE Local Sentenced for Embezzlement

AFGE logoTimothy Sanchez couldn’t maintain the ruse forever.  And he’s beginning a sentence because of that.  On March 5, Sanchez, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 906, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to 18 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for embezzling more than $51,000 from the union, which represents about 200 employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Resource Center in Topeka, Kan. and Waco, Texas.  He also will have to make restitution in the amount of $50,156, a sum slightly less than what he took.

Pennsylvania Utility Workers Ex-Local President Pleads Guilty

UWUA logoOn March 4, Michael Trembulak, former president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 475, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to embezzling $31,528 in funds from the Rochester (Beaver County), Pa.-based union.  He had been indicted last July.  That same month, about two weeks earlier, another former Local 475 president, John Vetterly Jr., had been sentenced to nine months of house arrest and five years of probation for embezzling $26,605 from the union.  In each case, the actions followed an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Former President of NYC Steelworkers Local Pleads Guilty

United Steelworkers logoFor Juan “Alex” Cedeno, the party’s over.  And the bill has come due.  On March 6, Cedeno, former president of United Steelworkers Local 4-318, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to one count of false-record keeping in connection with his theft or misappropriation of more than $90,000 in funds from the Queens, N.Y. union.  Cedeno had been arrested and charged last May after a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Jacksonville, Fla. Police Union President, VP Plead Guilty in Slot Machine Scam

Another day in Florida online gamblingIt was a scam that was the talk of Florida.  And two cops, both leaders in their police union, played no small part in making it happen.  This past January, Nelson Cuba, former president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), pleaded guilty to three charges related to his transferring more than $500,000 from an illegal gambling enterprise to his own use.  Ex-FOP Vice President Robbie Freitas had pleaded guilty last April.  The convictions were part of a state probe into a gambling and money-laundering operation nominally run by a charity.  Participants netted nearly $300 million until the ring was busted two years ago.  Though not among the 57 arrested, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned, at Governor Rick Scott's request, given the fact of her public relations work several years earlier on behalf of the charity.

AFGE President in Alabama Indicted for Embezzlement

Stephanie Hicks wrote lots of checks from her union accoAFGE logounts.  The problem is that they didn’t always go to cover union expenses.  Hicks, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2207, was arrested and charged on March 11 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Alabama with embezzling more than $132,000 in funds from the union, which represents VA hospital employees in Birmingham.  She had been indicted by a grand jury in February for bank fraud, forgery and aggravated identity theft.  The charges follow a joint probe by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

UAW Vice President, Member in Louisiana Charged with Forgery

United Auto Workers (UAW)On March 4, Gregory Hill and Danny Rawls, respectively, vice president and member of Local 2297 of the United Auto Workers, each were indicted on nine counts in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana related to their aiding and abetting embezzlement in excess of $12,000, uttering forged checks, and conspiracy to commit forgery against the Shreveport-based union.  The indictments follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Transportation Union Treasurer in Texas Charged with Embezzlement

UTU logoOn February 23, Henry Shuler, former treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 1892, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas with one count of embezzlement of funds from the Houston union.  The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Virginia Letter Carriers President Sentenced for Theft

Letter Carriers logoOn March 3, Jeffrey Jones, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 6066, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one year of probation for embezzling $7,649 in funds from the Chesapeake, Va. union.  He also was ordered to pay full restitution.  Jones had pleaded guilty in November after being charged in October.  The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Fort Knox Civilian Technicians Secretary-Treasurer Indicted

Fort Knox, KentuckyOn February 26, Thomas Wilson, former secretary-treasurer of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 83, was charged in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Hardin County Circuit Court, with one count of felony theft from the Fort Knox-based union in an amount of over $10,000.  The charge follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Defense Department’s Criminal Investigative Service.

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