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.

Canadian Auto Workers Local Financial Secretary Accused of Embezzlement

Salt mineDavid St. Denis insists he's not an embezzler. But having apparently absconded with incriminating paperwork, he may have a tough time convincing a court as much. St. Denis for four years had been financial secretary of Local 1959 of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), an affiliate of the United Auto Workers. He's been charged with fraud in the amount of more than $20,000 from the Windsor, Ontario union. "Nothing went missing," he stated at his trial that began on May 11. "I did not take any money." Unfortunately, the original evidence is "missing."

Virginia Voters Reject Influence-Peddler Terry McAuliffe

McAuliffe photoBy a wide margin yesterday, Virginia voters nominated State Senator R. Creigh Deeds as the Democratic Party candidate for governor. In so doing, they rejected the candidacy of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a top Clinton confidante with a long history of influence-peddling. With roughly 75 percent of the ballots counted, Deeds had received about 50 percent of the tally, with McAuliffe and State Delegate Brian Moran each with roughly 25 percent. Deeds will face Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who ran unopposed, in this November's general election. But the real news may be the defeat of McAuliffe, a powerful and ethically-challenged party fundraiser. Former President Bill Clinton, among other party stalwarts, actively had stumped on his behalf.

Public Employees Official in San Diego Resigns Amid Credit Card Fraud Allegation

San Diego skylineAs general manager of San Diego's largest municipal employee union, Judie Italiano wanted extra perks to take the place of the ones she lost. That desire now has cost her a job. Ms. Italiano until late May had been the longtime general manager of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association (SDMEA), an independent 6,000-member union. She resigned following an internal investigation revealing she had made nearly $14,000 in unauthorized credit card charges to cover personal expenses. And while she's paid back the money, the scandal suggests ongoing political turmoil.

Kansas Steelworkers Local Secretary Indicted for Embezzlement

Steelworkers logoOn Thursday, May 28, prosecutors announced the indictment by a Wichita federal grand jury of Daryl Becker, formerly financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 558, for embezzlement of union funds in an unspecified amount. Becker, 56, a resident of McPherson, allegedly committed the theft on July 2, 2005. The union also is based in McPherson. The indictment follows a Labor Department investigation. (KAKE News, 5/28/09; Associated Press, 5/29/09).

South Carolina Boilermakers Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Thefts

Joseph Michael Johnson thought with a little help from union apprentices, he had the system beat. In the end, the system won. Johnson, formerly secretary-treasurer and business manager for International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 687, was sentenced on May 6 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina for embezzling more than $100,000 from the Charleston Heights, S.C. union. He will have to serve a year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He also must pay $46,653 in residual restitution plus a $100 fine.

Treasurer of Indiana Glass, Molders and Pottery Workers Local Sentenced for Embezzlement

GMP logoOn May 8, Jeffrey C. Harris, former financial secretary-treasurer of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union (GMP) Local 285, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to three years probation for embezzling funds from the Fort Wayne union. He also will have to make restitution in the amount of $5,048. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Northern California Carpenters Secretary Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Carpenters logoOn May 6, Audrea Ann Jimenez, former secretary/bookkeeper of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 262 in San Jose, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to one count of making a false entry in or willful concealment of books and records. She had been charged in February. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Illinois Postal Workers Local President Indicted for Embezzlement

APWU logoOn May 6, Mozelle E. Means-Swanson, former president of American Postal Workers Union Local 7139 in Aurora, Illinois, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on one of embezzling union funds in the amount of $4,900. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Former Financial Secretary of Tennessee Auto Workers Local Pleads Guilty to Theft

Auto workersOn May 5, Ronnie Scott, former financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 2409, pleaded guilty in the Criminal Court for Putnam County, Tennessee to theft from the Cookeville union in an amount of more than $1,000. He subsequently was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Philadelphia Teachers Union Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

AFT logoOn May 5, Peter Rhein, former treasurer of American Federation of Teachers Local 3845, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to five years probation and ordered to make additional restitution in the amount of $28,145.76 plus a special assessment of $1,400. He previously had paid $14,500 in restitution. Rhein in February had pleaded guilty to forging union checks totaling $43,600 to cover personal expenses during October 2002-February 2008 and then falsifying union records. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/4/09; OLMS, 5/22/09).

Postal Workers Ex-President in Alabama Sentenced for Embezzlement

Post office buildingOn May 5, Angelo Wiggins, former president of National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE) Local 408, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama to five years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,269.85. He had pleaded guilty in February to embezzling funds in the same amount from the Mobile union. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Alabama Transportation Union Local Secretary-Treasurer Indicted for Thefts

On May 1, Christopher Scott Tidwell, former secretary-treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 1261, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama on two counts of theft of more than $22,000 from the Lineville, Ala.-based union. According to federal prosecutors, Tidwell's embezzlement occurred during January 1, 2006-February 26, 2008. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama, 5/1/09; OLMS, 5/22/09).

Treasurer of Ohio Correctional Employees Union Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

AFSCME logoOn May 1, Jack Hooks, former treasurer of Local 11, Chapter 7010 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to embezzling union funds in the amount of $15,192. The union, formally known as the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, represents corrections officers at Mansfield Correctional Institution ("MANCI"). Hooks initially pled this past January. The action follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Obama Labor Department Nominees Would Forge Partnerships with Unions, Community Activists

Community activistsOne of the hallmarks of Barack Obama's political career has been his view that the worlds of governance and community activism should blend. By encouraging public office holders to work closely with grass-roots organizers and by hiring some of the more experienced organizers (especially those already with a government background) for federal positions, he believes, our nation can realize long-overdue institutional change. If the president's recent nominations for two key positions with the Department of Labor are any indication, he's making good on his rhetoric. The nominees, M. Patricia "Trisha" Smith and Lorelei Boylan, are outspoken advocates for organized labor. And they're not above using Left-leaning community activists to enforce regulations.

Chicago Nurses Treasurer Indicted for Embezzlement, Records Fraud

Two nursesOn April 28, Joyce Marsalis, former treasurer of the Illinois Nurses Association, University of Chicago Local, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on one count of embezzling $12,717 and one count of falsifying union records to cover up the offense. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Former Teamsters Official in Minnesota Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Teamsters logoOn April 17, Daniel Fortier, formerly secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 970 and president of Teamsters Joint Council 32, both based in Minneapolis, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to two counts of making false entries in union records related to an embezzlement of $8,202.61. The guilty plea follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Steelworkers Ex-Local Treasurer in Upstate New York Pleads Guilty to Records Fraud

Steelworkers logoOn April 15, Norma Fanning, former treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 503 in Ogdensburg, N.Y., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to falsifying union records. She had submitted $6,342.15 in fraudulent expense claims. The case follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Michigan Communications Workers Local President Indicted for Theft

Communications workersOn April 15, Belinda K. Woods, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 84-415 in Grand Rapids, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $10,988.86 and one count of falsifying union records. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/28/09).

Security Employees Financial Secretary in Georgia Indicted for Embezzlement

On April 10, Dianne Drawdy, former financial secretary of Security, Police, Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 576, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on 16 counts of embezzling nearly $18,000 in funds from the Baxley-based union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

Federal Employees Local Treasurer in Ohio Charged with Theft

AFGE logoOn April 10, Monica Smalls, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2209 in Dayton, Ohio, was charged in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas with theft of $500 or more. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. AFGE Local 2209 represents employees at the VA Medical Center in Dayton. (OLMS, 5/22/09).

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