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.

How Can Auto Bailout Succeed When Its Based on Fraud?

Rattner photoIn the coming weeks we are sure to hear a lot of hype over the upcoming General Motors IPO. As we approach the November elections, it is a certainty that the Obama administration will tout the government intervention and nationalization of a major US industrial corporation as a huge success. Claims have already been made that the American economy and millions of jobs have been saved by bailing out GM. There are many people, including the Mom and Pop investors that financed GM through their bond purchases, who see a less savory side to the bankruptcy process and view it as a model of corruption and cronyism.

Indiana Bakery & Tobacco Workers Secretary Pleads Guilty to Theft

Bakery & Tobacco Workers logoOn July 6, Keith Hart, former financial secretary of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 315G, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, to one count of embezzling $13,904.69 from the Mt. Vernon, Ind. union. He had been charged in June 2009. The guilty plea follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Glass Workers Local Treasurer in Florida Pleads Guilty

Glass workers logoOn July 1, Woodrow Anderson, former treasurer of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union Local 208, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida to making a false statement of material fact in a financial statement. He was ordered to pay restitution of $2,249.96 to Zurich North America. The union is based in Bradenton. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Chicago SEIU Local Official Sentenced for Embezzlement

Service Employees logoOn June 24, Pamela Williams, former travel/procurement coordinator for Service Employees Local 880 in Chicago, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to five years probation, five months of home confinement, and 300 hours of community service for embezzling $6,080.06 in union funds. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Williams pleaded guilty in March following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Indiana Transit Workers Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

Transit busOn June 23, Richard Schwab, former secretary-treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 298, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to two years probation and six months electronic monitoring for embezzling $46,728 from the Fort Wayne union. He also will have to pay outstanding restitution in the amount of $4,719.57 and a special assessment of $100. He pled guilty in February. The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Former Government Workers President in Alaska Sentenced

AFGE logoOn June 23, Kevin McGee, former president of Local 3028 of the American Federation of Government Employees in Anchorage, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska to 18 months of probation with 30 days of home confinement for making a false entry in union financial records. He also was ordered to pay $2,400 in restitution and a $2,400 fine. McGee pleaded guilty in February. The sentencing follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Secretary-Treasurer in Louisiana Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn June 22, Keith Knight, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 13-1362, was sentenced in the 22nd Judicial District Court of Washington Parish, Louisiana to three years supervised probation for theft from the Bogalusa union. He also will have to pay $43,000 in restitution and a $500 fine, plus court and supervision fees. Knight had pleaded guilty to in June. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Milwaukee AFSCME Official Hit with Additional Theft Charge; Pleads Guilty

AFSCME logoIt's a minor coda to a major story, but it doesn't feel good to Paula Dorsey all the same. On June 22, Dorsey, formerly president of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with one count of embezzling $532.50 from the Milwaukee union. She eventually pleaded guilty on August 11.

New Jersey Production Workers Officials Arrested for Theft

dollarsStephen Arena and David Caivano made sure nobody would look while they looted their union's general and benefit funds. In the end, federal prosecutors are doing the looking. On Tuesday, September 21, Arena and Caivano, respectively, president and secretary-treasurer of Local 148 of the International Union of Allied Novelty and Production Workers, were arrested for embezzling more than $375,000 from the Jersey City union over a nearly a half-decade. As the local is no stranger to scandal, it hardly needs this development.

Electrical Workers Secretary-Treasurer in California Pleads Guilty

Electrical Workers logoOn June 21, Jimmie Leo Miles, former secretary-treasurer of Local 1023 of the International Brotherhood Electrical Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to embezzling union funds and filing a false tax return. He was ordered to pay $93,284 in restitution to the Barstow-based union and $14,466 to the IRS, file amended tax returns, and reimburse all prosecution costs. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Washington State Local Bookkeeper Charged with Theft

Laborers logoOn June 18, Elizabeth Mills, former bookkeeper of Laborers International Union of North America Local 901 in Mount Vernon, Washington (Skagit County, north of Seattle), was charged in Skagit County Court with theft of union funds in the amount of $7,721. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Teamsters National Organizer Charged; Pleads Guilty

On September 1, Jo Ann Duffy, former project organizer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $13,738. She had been charged in June. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

FBI, Labor Department Probe SEIU's Stern

Andrew SternThe abrupt departure by Andrew Stern this spring as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), after 14 years on the job, blindsided a lot of observers. After all, he was a shadow cabinet member of the Obama administration. Reported ongoing federal investigations into two unrelated, and possibly illegal, financial arrangements may shed light on his motives. The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times each ran stories last Tuesday stating the FBI and the Department of Labor have been interviewing persons potentially knowledgeable about the possibility that Stern: 1) received unauthorized funds from a book he'd authored several years ago; and 2) approved the disbursement of funds to pay for a Southern California SEIU local official's no-show job who eventually was convicted in an unrelated kickback scheme. Stern denies his involvement in these activities and indeed even the fact of an investigation.

Bailed-Out Chrysler Workers Drink, Get High

Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit isn’t the sort of place where one would think party animals hang out. But the camera doesn’t lie. Acting on a tip, WJBK-TV/Fox 2 News in Detroit aired a story this morning showing roughly 15 plant employees, over the course of several consecutive days, chugging beer and smoking marijuana in a park near the company parking lot.

Iowa Signalmen Union Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

Railroad signal crossingOn June 18, John Mannenga, former secretary-treasurer for Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Local 98, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa to four months of home confinement and three years supervision for embezzling $14,042 in funds from the Norwalk (near Des Moines) union. He also will have to make $5,242.60 in outstanding restitution. Mannenga had been charged last November. The sentencing follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Ex-Local President in Detroit Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn June 14, Jerrold King, former president of United Steelworkers Local 842, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of concealing records from the Detroit union. He had been charged in March. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New Jersey Operating Engineers Local President Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks, Theft

Operating EngineersDennis Giblin at least can be glad that theft of services doesn't run in the family. It's unlikely he would have gotten his job with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68 otherwise. On Monday, August 9, Giblin, former president of the local and scion of a powerful New Jersey union and political family, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to receiving kickbacks and embezzling in connection with a business transaction during his tenure as head of the West Caldwell, N.J.-based union's job training and education program. He had been arrested in January 2009.

Former Michigan Steelworkers Local Secretary Charged

Steelworkers logoOn June 11, Barbara Gallagher, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 2-1007, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with one count of making a false statement in union financial records for 2005. The union is based in Howell, Mich., west of Detroit. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Firefighters President in Missouri Charged, Pleads Guilty

On June 4, Aaron Hunter, former president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 108F in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri with one count of making false statements to conceal his embezzlement of union funds. He then pleaded guilty. The charge and plea follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Wisconsin Textile Workers Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

UNITE HERE logoOn June 8, Kathy Oatman, former secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 228, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin to embezzling $4,662 in funds from the Eau Claire union. She also will have to make full restitution. The local belongs to a breakaway faction of UNITE (textile and laundry workers), Americans United, which affiliated in 2009 with the Service Employees International Union. The guilty plea follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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