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.

Postal Workers Local Treasurer in Arizona Sentenced for Theft

Postal Workers logoOn September 18, Christina Carr, former treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 7008, was sentenced in Navajo County, Arizona Superior Court to three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay $5,853.19 in restitution for embezzling funds from the Show Low, Ariz.-based union by way of unauthorized use of the local debit card and checking account. She was indicted in February and pleaded guilty in July. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Arkansas Steelworkers Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

Steelworkers logoOn September 17, Rickey Harper, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 769, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas to five years of probation, the first six months of which must be spent in monitored home detention, for embezzling funds from the El Dorado, Ark. union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $20,853.72 and a special assessment of $100. Harper had pled guilty in February. The guilty plea and sentencing follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Four Ex-Members of Boston Teamsters Local Indicted for Racketeering

Teamsters logoThe International Brotherhood of Teamsters has a long history of criminal violence in getting its way. To some, the union has forsaken such behavior. But one Boston local apparently never got that memo. On September 19, four former members of Teamsters Local 82 were indicted in Boston federal court on 30 counts of racketeering, extortion, mail fraud and other crimes. The individuals - John Perry, Joseph Burhoe, James Deamicis and Thomas Flaherty, collectively known as the "Perry Crew" - over a five-year period allegedly shook down hotel managers, caterers and other entities involved in that city's conventions and trade shows. At Local 82, which last December was taken over by Teamsters Local 25 (itself no stranger to these pages), fear was the name of the game - and the perpetrators, now gone from the union, knew how to instill it in others.

NYC Painters President Arrested, Indicted for Kickbacks and Thefts

IUPAT logoHector Lopez increased his wealth by cutting deals with union contractors. Members of his union bore the cost. On September 18, Lopez, formerly president of Metal Polishers Local 8A-28A, an affiliate of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was arrested at his home and indicted in Brooklyn, N.Y. federal court on charges of enriching himself over several years through various illegal activities, the most serious of which was his acceptance of nearly $750,000 from an unnamed firm in exchange for the firm retaining control over the union benefit plan. At his arraignment, Lopez pleaded not guilty to all 15 charges, which include embezzlement, mail fraud, wire fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Go released Lopez on $1 million bond, subject to electronic monitoring.

Business Agent for Machinists Local in Virginia Sentenced

On September 20, Jeff Agee, former business representative for International Association of Machinists Lodge 10, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to 180 days of home confinement and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Richmond-based union. He also was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Agee had been charged in April and pleaded guilty in May. Apparently, there was more than initially met the eye. Although the charge and guilty plea indicated he stole $4,181.62, sentencing records show he had made full restitution in the amount of $26,139.13. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Letter Carriers Treasurer in Hawaii Sentenced for Embezzlement, Coverup

Letter Carriers logoOn September 17, David Ing, former treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 860, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to four months in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Honolulu-based union and concealing the thefts on union financial reporting forms. Having previously paid $79,291.24 in restitution, he was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a $200 special assessment, and undergo treatment for gambling addiction. Ing pled guilty in May to embezzling $83,293.19. The guilty plea and sentencing follow a joint probe by the IRS' Criminal Investigation Division and the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Staff Representative in Pittsburgh Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn September 18, Curtis Reed, a former staff representative at United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to embezzling $3,694.32 in union funds. He and Robert Misuraca, at the time another headquarters staffer, had been indicted in February. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Longshoremen Call Off Strike; Agree to 90-Day Talks Extension

Harold DaggettWhatever happened to the strike by the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) that was supposed to start October 1? The answer: It's on hold. On September 20 the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) announced that the ILA and a shipping industry consortium, the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), had agreed to continue negotiations until December 29. The 90-day contract extension averts a potentially crippling walkout at Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. The extension, says FMCS Director George Cohen, allows each party to focus on "outstanding core issues in a deliberate manner apart from the pressure of an immediate deadline." The ultimate issue, however, remains: union-driven work rules and accompanying corruption that raise shipping costs to often exorbitant levels.

AFGE Local Secretary-Treasurer in Washington, D.C. Pleads Guilty

AFGE logoOn September 14, Gloria Dickinson, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 421, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to entering false statements in financial records of the Washington, D.C. union. She had been charged on September 6. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

IBEW Local Secretary in NE Pennsylvania Sentenced for Thefts

IBEW logoOn September 13, Libby Stegner, former administrative assistant for Local 1319 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation for embezzling $41,861 from the Wilkes-Barre union during 2005-10. She also was ordered to pay $41,321.25 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Stegner had been charged in May and pleaded guilty two weeks later that month. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

GM Bankruptcy Misrepresentations Prefaced Libya Attack Controversy

The 2012 election campaigns have seen accusations thrown about that both President Obama and Governor Romney have been less than honest at times. After Obama was soundly trounced in the first debate, the defense for the President's poor performance (other than Al Gore's theory that it was the high altitude) was that Mitt Romney lied. While that unsubstantiated charge might make Governor Romney an accused liar, the facts surrounding the General Motors bankruptcy process reveal that those in the Obama Administration are proven liars.

Illinois Transportation Union Local Boss Charged with Embezzlement

UTU logoOn September 11, Lawrence Minas, former general chairman of United Transportation Union, General Committee of Adjustment 449, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois with one count of embezzling $71,160 in funds from the Palos Heights, Ill. (suburban Chicago) union. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Government Employees Local President in Virginia Sentenced

SEIU logoOn September 13, Kevin Threat, former president of National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R3-84, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to 60 days of home detention and five years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $15,505 for embezzling funds from the Alexandria, Va.-based union. Threat is a Maryland resident, hence the reason for the case prosecuted in that state. He had been charged early in March and pleaded guilty later that month. NAGE is an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Steelworkers National Political Director Indicted for Embezzlement

Steelworkers logoOn September 11, Charles Rocha, former political director of the United Steelworkers, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on 18 counts of embezzlement of $6,971.19 in funds from the union's Pittsburgh headquarters. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Illinois Plumbers Local Business Manager Sentenced for Theft

Plumbers logoOn September 10, Bill Adrian, former business manager for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 101, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from a benefit plan sponsored by the Belleville, Ill.-based union. He also will have to pay $102,572.78 in restitution and a $200 special assessment. Adrian pled guilty in May. The actions follow a Labor Department probe.

Ask GM Bondholders and Delphi Retirees About Obama's 'Economic Patriotism'

Obama debate photoPresident Obama called for a "new economic patriotism" during last night's presidential debate. Well, hold on to your wallets as this new buzz phrase seems to be a euphemism for "wealth redistribution." Just ask old General Motors bondholders or non-unionized Delphi retirees about how Obama's so-called "shared sacrifices" are more about cronyism than patriotism.

Carpenters Regional Council Secretary in Ohio Sentenced for Theft

Carpenters logoOn September 7, Laura Dixon, former office secretary for the Ohio and Vicinity Regional Council, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to 18 months of incarceration followed by two years of supervised release for stealing $170,216 from the Cleveland-based union. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 assessment, and undergo mental health and alcohol counseling. The union, formerly based in Toledo, since has merged into a Cleveland-based organization, the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters. Dixon was charged in February, and pleaded guilty in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Related:

Secretary of Midwest Carpenters Council Charged; Pleads Guilty

AFGE Secretary Treasurer in Washington, D.C. Charged

AFGE logoOn September 6, Gloria Dickinson, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 421, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with one count of making false statements in financial records of the Washington, D.C.-based union. The union represents employees of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Missouri AFSCME Local President Sentenced for Bank Fraud

AFSCME logoOn September 4, Michael Palmer, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1379, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to 120 days of confinement, three years of probation, and was ordered to pay $1,931 in restitution and a $200 fine for bank fraud. The local is based in Fulton, Mo. Palmer pled guilty in April. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Embassies Facing Security Cuts Waste Money on Chevy Volts

Volt and Embassy officialThe U.S. military's newspaper, Stars & Stripes, recently reported that the Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts in a 1,500 electric-vehicle purchase, as part of the Defense Department's "green initiatives," which seek to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy sources.

A recent Congressional Budget Office study challenged the assumption that electric vehicles have any impact on such dependence, prompting the question of why the government is spending money this way. Against the backdrop of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, and looming embassy security cuts due to sequestration, it appears politics and ideology are trumping common sense.

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