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.

NE Indiana Machinists Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On August 20, Mark Morgan, secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 2584, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to embezzling more than $17,600 from the Fremont, Ind. union. Morgan, 36, a resident of Angola, Ind. (near Fort Wayne), had been charged in May with two counts of theft. As part of the agreement, Morgan pled guilty to one count and prosecutors agreed to drop the other count. In addition, he will have to make restitution. A sentencing date has yet to be set. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Las Vegas Laborers Local Office Employee Sentenced for Thefts

Las Vegas at nightStacy Johnson might consider getting some new friends. Last Thursday, August 23, Johnson, a cashier for Laborers International Union of North America Local 872, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to a year in prison for embezzling funds from the Las Vegas union. She also will have to pay $53,500 in restitution. Johnson, along with two other office employees, had been indicted in April 2010 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards. She was convicted by a jury this past April and must report to prison by November 21.

Democrats Move Funds into Union-Owned Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank photoUnions have an understandable dislike for doing business with nonunion employers. It's a matter of self-interest. And as the City of Charlotte prepares to host the Democratic National Convention during September 3-6, a growing roster of labor and politically allied organizations are indicating their displeasure over the party's decision to hold the event in that decidedly nonunion locale. Some groups, which include an apparently chastened Democratic National Committee, are shifting deposits from the Charlotte-based Bank of America (BoA) to a union-owned New York City institution, Amalgamated Bank. 

GM CEO Akerson Responds to Criticism

Akerson photoGeneral Motors CEO & Chairman Dan Akerson has an op-ed in yesterday's Detroit Free Press in response to the growing chorus of criticism of the company in general, and his leadership in particular.  It is rather typical corporate PR, complete with a Teddy Roosevelt quote.

One line is odd, though. Akerson (or his flak) writes:

I believe our culture is our "secret weapon" and is on the way to being a true difference maker for us.

So, how is GM's culture,  according to Akerson?

CWA Financial Secretary in Minnesota Charged with Theft

CWA logoOn August 6, Dennis Earley, former financial secretary of Communications Workers of America Local 87140, was charged with one count of theft in an amount greater than $5,000 from the Minneapolis-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Texas Local Electrical Workers Office Employee Sentenced

Electrical Workers logoOn August 2, Pete Irwin, former administrative assistant for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 72, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to six months of home confinement and five years of probation for falsifying financial reports filed by the Waco-based union. He also was ordered to pay $19,774.70 in restitution and a $25 assessment. Irwin had been indicted in June. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Musicians Local Secretary-Treasurer in San Antonio Sentenced

Musicians union logoOn July 27, Juan Rios, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Musicians Local 23, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to five years of probation, and ordered to pay $15,407.77 in restitution and a $100 special assessment, for embezzlement from the San Antonio union. He pled guilty in October 2011 after being indicted that August. Prosecutors alleged Rios stole about $30,000, about double the amount for which he had been charged. An insurance company has covered most of the union's losses. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Arizona Postal Workers Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Postal Workers logoOn July 10, Christina Carr, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 7008, pleaded guilty in Navajo County, Arizona Superior Court to embezzling $5,853.19 from the Show Low, Ariz.-based union by making unauthorized use of the local debit card and checking account. She had been indicted in February. The indictment and guilty plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New York Trucking Firm Owners, Steward Indicted for Theft from Teamsters Local

Hauling truckLocal 282 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for many years operated as a Mafia branch office. But though federal prosecutors have succeeded in removing the mob presence, the union apparently still provides its share of opportunities of self-enrichment at the expense of members. On March 8, five persons involved in hauling operations for New York City-area construction projects were indicted in Brooklyn, N.Y. federal court for embezzlement, fraud and unlawful payments. The five-count indictment charges these scams deprived the union of more than $5 million in benefit contributions.

Auto Bailout Legacy: GM's European Nightmare

Steve GirskyThree years into their forced marriage with GM, the American taxpayers have seen the value of their investment in GM deteriorate by approximately $24 billion, largely due to continuing European losses. Exposure in Europe has contributed to crushing the value of GM's stock due to its chaotic and failing Opel unit in Germany. While government, journalists and Wall Street sympathizers have given the Obama Administration and GM leadership an almost incomprehensible pass on this value destruction and massive loss (presumably due to the macro-economic nature of the crisis), it's time to call for the accountability that this new Board was supposedly going to deliver. 

Deputy Sheriffs' Association Boss in California Pleads No Contest to $400k+ Theft; Sentenced

Sheriff's badgeLaw enforcement officers are supposed to protect the public from financial crimes, not engage in them. Donald Philip Atkinson didn't take the credo seriously. On June 20, Atkinson, a retired sergeant with the El Dorado County, California Sheriff's Department, pleaded no contest to three charges related to his embezzlement of over $300,000 from the deputy sheriffs' association he headed, plus another $100,000 from the mother of a friend. He had been arrested in March and charged with 44 felony counts, including fraud, embezzlement and forgery. At the time, Atkinson pleaded not guilty. The case grew out of an investigation by the California Attorney General's Office and El Dorado County prosecutors. The deal called for Atkinson to serve five years in state prison and pay full restitution. Sentencing was handed down on July 31.

West Virginia Laborers Council Director Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Construction equipmentJonathan Deutsch still may believe he was framed. But his case has been resolved. On June 11, Deutsch, former executive director of the Constructors' Laborers Council (CLC) of West Virginia, re-entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of bank fraud in connection with a false statement he made to obtain an unauthorized $120,000 line of credit. Deutsch had pleaded guilty to mail fraud in May 2011, and then, this past March, asked a judge to set aside the plea and dismiss the remainder of a 32-count superseding indictment.

CWA President in Massachusetts Pleads Guilty to Theft; Sentenced

CWA logoOn July 31, Lynda Nordyke, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 1302, pleaded guilty in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Essex County District Court, to theft in the amount of $1,438 from the Lynn union. She then was sentenced to 30 days of probation and required to make full restitution. The plea and sentencing follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Kansas City, Kan. Retail & Wholesale Workers Secretary Sentenced

RWDSU logoOn July 25, Tammy Allen, formerly secretary-treasurer of Local 184 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to five months of home confinement, five months in a halfway house and three years of probation for embezzlement from the Kansas City, Kan.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $45,766.81 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Allen was indicted in November 2010 and pleaded guilty in October 2011. Allen is a resident of Missouri, but the union is located in Kansas City, Kan., representing workers at the Kellogg's Snack Division plant there. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Local Financial Secretary in Pittsburgh Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn July 25, Angelo Schifino, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 532, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment, for embezzling funds from the Pittsburgh union. He previously had paid full restitution in the amount of $9,917. Schifino pled guilty in March. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

VIDEO: Bailed-Out GM's Future in Doubt

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica was interviewed by Tom Sullivan about GM's future on Fox Business Network on August 11. Here's a transcript:

Detroit-Area AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Charged with Theft

AFSCME logoOn July 9, Richard Ikerd, former secretary-treasurer for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2568, was charged in the 19th District Court of Wayne County, Michigan with one count of embezzlement of between $1,000 and $20,000 from the Melvindale-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-management Standards.

Ex-Los Angeles SEIU Boss Indicted for Theft, Tax Evasion

SEIU logoTyrone Freeman was once a rising star within the Service Employees International Union. Now his fall is imminent. Last Tuesday, July 31, Freeman, former president of the powerful Los Angeles-based United Long-Term Care Workers, also known as SEIU Local 6434, was indicted in federal court on 15 counts of embezzlement, tax evasion and other offenses. The action wasn't unexpected. Freeman's one-time benefactor, former SEIU President Andrew Stern, had permanently moved him from his post in late 2008 following newspaper accounts of corruption. The stories triggered an internal probe and a nearly four-year joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, FBI and IRS. Freeman's lawyers say their client is innocent. A jury might not be of a similar cast of mind. His wife already has pleaded guilty. And he's facing an unresolved state civil suit.

NYC-New Jersey Port Authority Union Boss Sentenced

Port Authority Bus TerminalDaniel Hughes long had major emotional issues. But apparently they were less than resolved at the time of his sentencing. On March 7, Hughes, formerly president of Port Authority Field Supervisors Association Local 111-S, was sentenced in Brooklyn, N.Y. federal court to 21 months in prison for embezzling nearly $300,000 in dues from the union, whose roughly 250 members perform work on bridges, tunnels and airport runways managed by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He also was ordered to pay restitution. Hughes had pleaded guilty a little over two years ago following an internal investigation and a criminal prosecution.

WSJ Reveals Huge Hidden Union Political Spending

CashPolitical spending can be seen as consisting of the kind that goes recognized and the kind that doesn't. And when the money comes from unions, the gap between the two can be enormous in favor of the latter. On July 10, the Wall Street Journal published an article by reporters Tom McGinty and Brody Mullins, "Political Spending by Unions Far Exceeds Direct Donations," concluding that organized labor during 2005-11 spent $4.4 billion on federal election campaigns and lobbying. Only $1.1 billion of that represented sums reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Congress.

Syndicate content