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.

Former President of San Diego-Area NTEU Local Sentenced

NTEU logoOn August 5, Harold Washington, former president of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 105, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $100 fine for embezzling more than $38,000 from the Chula Vista union and falsifying financial reports to conceal the thefts. He had been charged on April 24, later pleading guilty that day. Washington previously had paid full restitution. The actions follow a joint probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Professional Responsibility and Customs and Border Protection.

AFGE Ex-Local President in Wisconsin Charged with Theft

AFGE logoOn July 31, Christopher Zawikowski, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3495, was charged in Adams County, Wisconsin District Court with one count of theft from the Grand Marsh, Wisc.-based union in an amount of less than $2,500. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

West Virginia Plumbers Business Manager Sentenced for Records Fraud

Plumbers logoOn July 16, Jeffrey Beresford, former business manager and financial secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,507 in restitution and a $25 special assessment for falsifying records of the Wheeling-based local in connection with theft. Two days later, he paid full restitution. Beresford had pled guilty in April. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

National Political Director for Steelworkers Sentenced for Thefts

Steelworkers logoOn July 30, Charles Rocha, former national political director for the United Steelworkers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to two years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 for embezzling funds from union headquarters in Pittsburgh. He previously had made restitution in the amount of $12,449. Rocha had been indicted last September and pleaded guilty this past March. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Former Chicago-Area AFGE Official Sentenced for Mail Fraud

AFGE logoOn July 29, Jacquelyn Pugh-Rodgers, former vice president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2107, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to three years probation, six months of which would be in community confinement, for mail fraud. She also was ordered to pay $35,663 in restitution and a special assessment of $100. AFGE Local 2107 is based in North Chicago, Ill. (Lake County) and represents employees of the North Chicago VA Medical Center. Pugh-Rodgers had pleaded guilty in March after being indicted with two other local members, James Charleston and Mary Craigen, in July 2012 on two counts of mail fraud and one count of embezzlement. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Nevada Local Painters Bookkeeper Sentenced for Embezzlement

Painters logoOn July 15, Kristine Stephens, former administrative assistant and bookkeeper for Local 567 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to 10 months of home confinement with electronic monitoring, five years of probation and 100 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Sparks-based union. She also was ordered to pay $81,564 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Stephens had pleaded guilty in March after being charged last November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

SEIU Local Bookkeeper in Washington State Sentenced for Thefts

SEIU logoOn July 12, Sofia Gonzalez, former bookkeeper for Service Employees International Union Local 925, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to five years of probation for embezzling $40,087 from the Seattle-based union. She also was ordered to pay full restitution. Gonzalez, who had worked in the local's Vancouver, Wash. office, had been charged in February and pleaded guilty in April. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Labor Secretary Perez Asked to Decide if 'Worker Centers' Are Unions

Secretary of Labor Thomas PerezThomas Perez is the nation's newest Secretary of Labor. And given his track record of political radicalism, this ought to be more than a little troubling. Perez insists he will be even-handed in his enforcement of the law. That commitment is getting an early test. On July 23, the day of Perez's swearing-in ceremony, two key House Republicans, John Kline (Minn.) and Phil Roe (Tenn.), wrote Perez a letter asking him to clarify the legal status of nonprofit 'worker centers' that are proliferating throughout the country. Because these nonunion organizations mimic the behavior of unions, the letter stated, they ought to be subject to laws that govern unions, especially with respect to financial disclosure.

SIGTARP Report – Obama Admin Lied about GM Bankruptcy Process

For years the Obama Administration maintained that they had no significant involvement in the day to day operations at General Motors as the company was guided through a taxpayer-funded bankruptcy process. A report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) now sheds light on the process and confirms that the Administration did, in fact, drive decisions at GM. One such decision saw GM provide taxpayer funds to "top-off" pensions for politically-favored UAW retirees at Delphi while non-union retirees lost the majority of their benefits. Treasury officials previously denied any involvement in the actions.

Obama Administration Subpoenaed in Delphi Retiree Scandal

DelphiThe House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has announced that it has served Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew a subpoena to obtain records relating to the Delphi retirees' pension scandal. Up to this point, the Obama Administration has stonewalled attempts by Congress to get an explanation on why Treasury seemed to be involved in orchestrating preferential treatment for unionized retirees over non-union retirees at Delphi during General Motors' bankruptcy process.

Maintenance of Way Secretary-Treasurer in Indiana Charged

Maintenance of Way logoOn July 24, J.D. Richey, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Lodge 3025, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana with embezzling funds in an unspecified amount from the Fort Wayne union. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

BLET Secretary-Treasurer in Illinois Indicted for Embezzlement

BLET logoOn July 23, Robert Davis, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 644, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois for embezzlement of $27,712 in funds from the Galesburg union. BLET is a Teamsters affiliate. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Texas Local Glass Workers Secretary-Treasurer Pleads Guilty

GMP logoOn July 18, Johnny Torres Jr., former secretary-treasurer of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union Local 259, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to one count of embezzling funds from the Waco-based union in the amount of $9,947. He had been indicted in May. The indictment and guilty plea follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE Local President in Illinois Sentenced for Theft

AFGE logoOn July 17, Timothy Harper, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2326, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to three months in prison and three months of supervised home confinement for theft in the amount of $15,837 from the Great Lakes, Ill.-based union. He also was ordered to make full restitution. Harper had pleaded guilty in April. The union represents employees at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Great Lakes, which is located north of Chicago near Waukegan. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New Jersey IBEW Local Officials Charged with $350,000 in Thefts

IBEW logoRichard "Buzzy" Dressel apparently saw his union as a source of free income for his girlfriend. That the two are now married hasn't impressed federal prosecutors. Last November 15, Dressel, business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164, along with the local president, John DeBouter, were arrested and then indicted in Newark federal court on eight counts of embezzling a combined roughly $350,000 from the Paramus, N.J.-based union and its apprenticeship fund. Nearly two weeks later, Dressel and DeBouter each pleaded not guilty. A court spokesperson informed Union Corruption Update today that lawyers have scheduled a status conference for September 5. A status conference typically indicates a trial is imminent.

Union Leaders Prepare for Final Push on Immigration; Ignore Member Concerns

Richard Trumka"Comprehensive immigration reform," like virtually any initiative containing the magic word "comprehensive," looks good on the surface. But the details of the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate in June by a 68-32 margin reveal much wrong underneath. Oblivious to this, top union leaders are gearing up for an all-out blitz this fall to secure passage of a similar bill in the Republican-majority House of Representatives. Led by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (in photo), they are obsessed with providing 11 million or more persons illegally in this country with amnesty and eventual citizenship, and with enabling millions of family members to come here to join them.

New Jersey IBEW Secretary-Treasurer, Steward Charged with Theft

IBEW logoTwo top officials at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 827 believed that they could get away with claiming hours for work not done. It turned out to be a bad guess. That's why they're former officials. On July 8, Robert Garris, former chief shop steward for the East Windsor Township (Mercer County), N.J.-based union, was charged in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County, with theft by deception in the sum of $25,960 for submission of false time claims. Nine days later, on July 17, in the same court, Jason D'Errico, the union's former secretary-treasurer, was charged with time claim theft in the amount of $58,954 and purchase of a vehicle with funds belonging to the Passaic County Labor Board. The charges in each case follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Glass Workers Treasurer in Ohio Pleads Guilty; Sentenced

Glass workerOn July 10, William Geisler, former treasurer of Glass, Molders, Pottery and Plastics & Allied Workers International Union Local 45, pleaded guilty in the Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas to one count of theft in the amount of $4,295 from the Columbus-based union. He then was given a suspended 10-day prison sentence and ordered to pay about $895 in restitution, having previously paid $3,400. Geisler was indicted in November 2011. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE Local President in New Mexico Sentenced for Embezzlement

AFGE logoOn July 8, Francisco Smalls, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2263, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Albuquerque union. He also was ordered to pay $6,726 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Smalls had pleaded guilty in January. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Senate Approves Five Obama NLRB Nominees; Creates 3-2 Pro-Union Majority

Harry ReidThe National Labor Relations Board now will have something it hasn't had in a decade: five full-term members. Just one hour ago, the full Senate approved all five nominees to the board following a deal two weeks ago to break a logjam over two recess appointments. And it's Republicans who appear to have been  taken. On July 16, President Obama had named Democrats Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa to slots vacated by Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, the result of a federal appeals court ruling this past January. Schiffer until last year served as AFL-CIO associate general counsel; Hirozawa is chief counsel to current NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce.

Syndicate content