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.

GM Recovery in Reverse as Earnings Disappoint

Akerson photoGeneral Motors released its disappointing earnings report last week to the sound of crickets. While financial TV news networks (along with most analysts and journalists) ignored the negative aspects of the release, share price has fallen over 5% in less than a week since the news hit. The earnings release and subsequent SEC 10K (annual report) expose the fact that GM's recovery is not the success that the Obama Administration and media portray. The lack of the fanfare that typically comes with GM earnings releases is as good an indication of the meaning behind the numbers as is the decline in share price.

St. Louis AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Fraud

AFSCME logoOn January 28, Doris Taylor, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2730, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to five years of probation for wire fraud in the amount of $27,098.62. She also will have to pay restitution plus a $100 assessment. Taylor had pleaded guilty in November. The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Locomotive Engineers Secretary-Treasurer in Virginia Sentenced

BLET logoOn January 24, Timothy Shell, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 561, was sentenced in Henrico County, Va. circuit court to four years (suspended) and 60 days in jail, plus seven years of probation, for embezzling at least $200 in funds from the Richmond-based union. Shell had been indicted last May and pleaded guilty in October. BLET is an affiliate of the Teamsters. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Washington State AFGE Local President Pleads Guilty to Theft

AFGE logoOn January 17, David Currie, former president and treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2583, pleaded guilty in the Superior Court of Washington, County of Clark, to theft from the Vancouver, Wash.-based union. He then was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay $6,552 in restitution and a $500 fine. Currie had been charged last November. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Headquarters Staff Representative Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn January 24, Curtis Reed, former staff representative for the United Steelworkers at the union's Pittsburgh headquarters, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to eight months in prison for embezzling $3,694.32 in union funds. He had pleaded guilty last September after being indicted seven months earlier with another former staff representative, Robert Misuraca. Reed already has paid full restitution. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Auto Workers Financial Secretary in Detroit Sentenced for Records Fraud

Auto Workers logoOn January 15, Joya Mills, former financial secretary of Local 2500 of the United Auto Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $25 assessment, for failure to maintain financial records following her theft of funds from the Detroit-based local. She previously had paid $11,600 in restitution. Mills pled guilty last October. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE President of South Dakota Local Pleads Guilty to Larceny

AFGE logoOn January 15, Melody Wouden, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2342, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota to one count of larceny from the Ft. Meade, S.D. union in an amount of under $1,000. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Chicago AFGE Ex-President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

AFGE logoOn January 9, Christopher Stansbury, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1765, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to embezzling nearly $500 from the Chicago-based union, which represents regional office employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He had been charged in December. The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Veterans Affairs Department's Office of Inspector General.

Philadelphia Construction Unions Terrorize Builders, Workers

Union goon assault in Philadelphia When it comes to intimidation in the pursuit of economic interest, organized labor long has been a master of the art. Such behavior is especially noxious and costly among construction unions. This past Monday through Wednesday, February 11-13, National Review Online published three articles under the title "Goon City" - here, here and here - on how Philadelphia's construction unions are imposing their brand of justice on open-shop contractors, workers and project sites. Assault, threats, harassment, vandalism, and arson are simply ways of doing business. Union bosses and their lawyers rationalize this behavior. Victims usually don't publicly complain about it. And the city council has every incentive to wink at it. The three-part series brings home with force the reality that union violence, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, is hardly "a thing of the past."

GM's Mysterious Earnings Report

General Motors reported earnings today that appeared non-eventful on the surface. Upon further inspection there are some underlying concerns, including a glaring one-time event that stands out. That is an adjustment to earnings with a tax benefit (as opposed to paying taxes) of $35 billion for a "deferred tax valuation release." This was coupled with a goodwill impairment charge of about $27 billion, which allows GM to reduce the previously unusually high goodwill assets that were recorded on its balance sheet.

NTEU Local Treasurer in Utah Indicted for Embezzlement

NTEU logoOn January 9, Shelia Brown (first name not a misspelling), former treasurer of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 67, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah with two counts of theft in connection with the embezzlement of $20,705.21 in funds from the Ogden-based local. An IRS employee, Brown during January 2009-April 2010 allegedly engaged in unauthorized ATM, checking and debit card transactions to divert union funds to her own personal use. Local officials in July 2010 had informed members that an investigation into missing funds was underway. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Laborers Local President in Boston Admits to Larceny; Sentenced

LIUNA logoOn January 9, David Beard, president of Laborers International Union of North America Local 381, admitted in the Trial Court of Massachusetts, BMC Department, to sufficient facts in a Continuance without a Finding for three counts of larceny in amounts over $250 from the Boston-based union. He then agreed to make $7,709 in restitution. The plea and sentencing follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Employee of Painters District Council Charged with Theft from Indiana Local

IUPAT logoOn February 7, Tracey Tigner, secretary for District Council 91 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was charged in Hammond, Indiana federal court for embezzling an undisclosed sum of funds from an affiliate, IUPAT Local 460 in Merrillville, Ind. District Council 91 covers all of Indiana, central Kentucky and a portion of Tennessee. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General and Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Cincinnati-Area Food and Commercial Workers Local Secretary Indicted

Food and Commercial Workers logo On January 8, Chad Petras, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342C, was indicted in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio on one count of theft of funds from the Rising Sun, Ind.-based union in an amount of $1,000 or more. Petras committed the alleged violations in Ohio, though the union is based in Indiana. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Las Vegas Laborers Dispatcher Sentenced for Embezzlement

Las Vegas at nightOn January 7, Aundrea Valerio, former dispatcher for Laborers International Union of North America Local 872, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to six months of home confinement and three years of probation, and ordered to make restitution, for embezzling funds from the Las Vegas union. She pleaded guilty last September after being indicted in April 2010 with two other local office employees, Stacy Johnson and Aurora Rios, for stealing a combined more than $300,000; Valerio's share of the take was about $13,500. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

'Worker Centers' Target Retail, Restaurant Sites for Organizing

Worker center demonstratorsWhen is a union not a union? Apparently, it's when members say it isn't. Yet a change in terminology can't alter reality. Over the past several years, hundreds of organizations, known as ‘worker centers,' have established a presence in the labor movement, targeting retail and restaurant chains for organizing and picketing. While they don't like being called unions, for all practical purposes they operate as such. And they have the advantage of being outside the jurisdiction of labor law. At least one is a reconstituted key affiliate of the defunct radical network, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Indiana UAW Local Secretary Charged with Embezzlement

Auto Workers logoOn January 7, Connie Sayne, former financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 3050, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana with embezzling $25,699.53 in funds from the Hagerstown, Ind. union. Sayne, 51, a resident of nearby Connersville, Ind., during June 2010-April 2012 allegedly wrote 64 unauthorized union checks to herself.  The union represents employees of Autocar, a Hagerstown-based manufacturer of garbage trucks. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Secretary-Treasurer in Texas Sentenced for Embezzlement

Steelworkers logoOn January 4, Cleo Wilson, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 1856, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to 12 months incarceration and three years of probation for embezzling funds from the Dallas-based union and then falsifying union records to conceal the thefts. She also will have to pay restitution in the amount of $29,856.19. Wilson had been indicted in June 2011, and pleaded guilty in March 2012. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Rockford, Ill. Laborers Office Manager Pleads Guilty to $200K Theft

Laborers logoSkimming contributions long has been a favored method of theft by union embezzlers. But the odds of getting caught eventually catch up. Just ask Grace Rathke. On January 3, Rathke, formerly office manager for Laborers Union of North America Local 32, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to stealing more than $190,000 in funds from the Rockford union. She had been indicted in August 2011 on 10 counts of embezzlement following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.

Transport Workers Secretary in Fort Worth Area Charged

TWU logoOn January 2, Kady Tucker, former office secretary for Transport Workers Union Local 575, was charged in the State of Texas, 396th District Court in Tarrant County, with intent to defraud another person via forgery. The union is based near Fort Worth. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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