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.

Oregon AFSCME Local Treasurer Sentenced for Records Fraud

AFSCME logoOn May 3, Michele Pedersen, former treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2746, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon to three years supervised release and ordered to pay a $25 special assessment for falsifying financial records of the Astoria union. Pedersen originally had been charged in March with embezzling $8,509. She eventually pled guilty in May to a lesser charge. She also made full restitution. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Three Employees of Las Vegas Laborers Local Indicted

Las Vegas stripOn April 28, Aundrea Valerio, Stacy Johnson and Aurora Rios, former office employees of Laborers International Union of North America Local 872, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on charges of embezzling a combined roughly $225,000 in funds from the Las Vegas union and falsifying financial records. Valerio, Johnson and Rios, respectively, were charged with thefts of approximately $13,500, $45,500 and $167,500. The indictments follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFSCME Official in Milwaukee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement From Voter Fund

AFSCME logoCasinos held a special appeal for Paula Dorsey, even as her losses mounted. Her big mistake was using union funds to cover those losses. Dorsey, formerly president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 48, agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on June 25 to embezzling roughly $180,000 in union funds. She admitted her actions to officials of the Milwaukee labor organization after being contacted by the union bank concerning suspicious withdrawals. In addition to payment of restitution, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Treasurer of Iowa Machinists Local Sentenced for Theft

Machinists logoOn April 30, Stanley Teasley, formerly secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists Local 1426, was sentenced in the Woodbury County (Iowa) Court to ten years in prison for theft of $17,525 from the Sioux City union. The sentencing follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Oklahoma Federal Employees Local President Sentenced

AFGE logoDaniel Greg Gibson wasn't very attentive to detail. That's why he'll be spending a year in prison. Gibson, formerly president of the American Federation of Government Employees local representing employees of the Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam 15, was sentenced on July 16 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to a year and one day in prison to be followed by 24 months of supervised release for thefts from the union. He also will have to pay $33,986.39 in restitution. The sentencing follows a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Minneapolis Federal Employees Local Secretary Charged

AFGE logoOn April 30, Lucy Hastings, former recording secretary for Local 1969 of the American Federation of Government Employees, was charged in the District Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota with theft of $3,328.29 in union funds. The local represents employees of the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Letter Carriers President in Michigan Charged with Theft

On April 28, Jamie Nielsen, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 13, was charged in the 60th District Court of Muskegon County, Michigan with one count of embezzlement of $200 or more but less than $1,000 from the Muskegon-based local. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Minnesota Postal Workers President Sentenced for Embezzlement

Letter carrierSteven McDeid is not in the best of shape, but he'll still have to repay his debts. On July 8, McDeid, formerly president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 388, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to 90 days of home confinement and five years of probation for embezzling funds from the St. Cloud union. He also will have to pay $51,639.61 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, plus perform 150 hours of community service. He had pleaded guilty in March following a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Laborers Local Secretary in Oklahoma Pleads Guilty

Laborers logoFor four years Donna LeAnn Cooper used her union credit card to enrich her bottom line. She's lucky she likely won't be doing as much time behind bars. Cooper, a former office employee with Laborers International Union of North America Local 888, pleaded guilty on July 15 in Muskogee, Oklahoma federal court to embezzling more than $69,000 from the Muskogee local. She is currently free on bond awaiting sentencing.

California Staff Union Ex-Treasurer Indicted for Embezzlement

On April 27, Joan Boucher, former treasurer of Staff Union Local 399, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for embezzling funds from the Los Angeles union in the amount of $11,845. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Officers of Glass Workers Local in Florida Indicted

Glass Workers (GMP) logoOn April 22, Karl Youngerman, Woodrow Anderson and Anthony Green, former officers of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union Local 208, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, embezzling union funds, making false entries in union records and filing false reports. Youngerman, Anderson and Green were, respectively, president, treasurer and recording secretary of the Bradenton union. The indictments follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Security Guards Treasurer in Mississippi Sentenced

On April 20, Rebecca James, former financial secretary-treasurer of International Guards Union of America Local 123, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to three years supervised probation for embezzling funds from the Port Gibson, Miss. union. She pled guilty in January. James also will have to pay $11,027.30 in restitution and a special assessment of $100. The union's former president, Ron Quinn, had been sentenced in March to six months home confinement and three years probation. He, too, must pay restitution in the same amount. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFSCME Local Official in Upstate New York Pleads Guilty

AFSCME logoOn April 20, Kelly Fahrenkopf, former vice president of Civil Service Employees Association Local 316, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to one count of embezzling over $11,500 in funds from the West Coxsackie (Greene County) union. The union is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Local President in Ohio Sentenced for Theft

Steelworkers  logoOn April 20, Jackie Kiedrowicz, former president of United Steelworkers Local 1200, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, to two years probation and 200 hours of community service for embezzling $16,782.40 in funds from the Canton union. She also will have to pay a $2,000 fine. She pleaded guilty in February. The sentencing follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Pittsburgh Hotel & Restaurant Employees Secretary Sentenced

UNITE HERE logoOn April 15, Christine Throckmorton, former office secretary/bookkeeper for Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 57, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to four years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,674.95 and a special assessment of $100. She had pleaded guilty in December to one count of embezzling $9,675.95 from the Pittsburgh union. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New York Carpenters Steward Pleads Guilty

When it comes to corruption in New York City-area unions, President Bush before Carpenters unionLocal 608 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners long has been a leader. Last Tuesday, July 6, federal prosecutors realized a major step in its cleanup program at that organization. Michael Brennan, a former local shop steward, pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a contractor in return for allowing that contractor to hire illegal immigrants off the books. Brennan was one of several defendants, including soon-to-be-ousted New York City District Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer (and former Local 608 President) Michael Forde, charged last August in Manhattan federal court with offenses in a larger racketeering probe.

Chicago Money Manager Sentenced, Liable for Union Pension Scams

DollarsJohn Orecchio saw in the nearly $200 million in union pension benefits under his management a ticket to a high roller's life. It proved to be a ticket to prison. On June 17, the one-time Chicago investment banker and equity fund manager was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to nine years and four months in federal prison to be followed by three years probation for embezzling more than $24 million from various Michigan-based labor pension plans. He had pleaded guilty in February. Orecchio also will have to pay more than $26 million in restitution - on top of the $50 million he'll have to fork over in the wake of a civil judgment against him last August obtained by the U.S. Department of Labor and another $7.8 million toward a DOL-engineered global settlement announced this past June 22 against his company, AA Capital Partners, and other parties.

Minnesota Steelworkers Local President Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn April 13, Joe Self, former president of United Steelworkers  Local 771, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to five years probation and ordered to pay $37,571.09 in restitution and a $50 special assessment for destruction of union records. He pled guilty in November 2008. The local is based in Fort Worth, Texas. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management.

Auto Workers Financial Secretary in Michigan Sentenced

Auto assembly plantOn April 12, Kimberley Smith, former financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 2031, was sentenced in the District Court of Lenawee County, Michigan to five days in jail, 15 days at a work release facility and two years probation for theft of union funds. She also will have to pay $1,951.87 in restitution and a $450 fine. Smith had pleaded guilty in March. The union is based in Adrian, about 30 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Ohio Local Teamster President Indicted for Theft

On April 12, Daniel Graves, former president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 in Wilmington, Ohio, was indicted in the Clinton County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas on one count of theft in the amount of $2,867.42. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Syndicate content