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.

Oklahoma AFGE Local Treasurer Pleads Guilty to False Record-Keeping

AFGE logoOn October 21, Shelly Roanhorse, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3601, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma to one count of making false statement in the records of the Claremore (Rogers County), Okla.-based union. She had been indicted in September. AFGE Local 3601 represents employees at the federal government's Indian Hospital in Claremore. The indictment and guilty plea follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

OPEIU Business Manager, Bookkeeper in Twin Cities Area Indicted

OPEIU logoOn October 8, Elizabeth Branca and Laurie Hoffman, respectively, ex-business manager and bookkeeper for Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 12, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota for their role in the embezzlement of $25,456 in funds from the Roseville, Minn.-based union. Hoffman was arrested on October 24; Branca turned herself in for arrest the next day. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Glass Workers President in Texas Sentenced for Embezzlement

GMP logoOn October 1, Oscar Berry, former president of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union Local 284, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to a year and a day of incarceration and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Longview, Tex. union in the amount of $124,181.77. He also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Berry had pleaded guilty in April. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Texas AFGE Local President Pleads No Contest to Theft

AFGE logoOn October 11, W.D. Whiting, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1757, pleaded no contest in the 187th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas, to one count of theft in the sum of between $500 and $1,500. He had been charged in February of stealing between $1,500 and $20,000 from the San Antonio union. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Utility Workers President, Secretary-Treasurer in Pittsburgh Area Indicted

UWUA logoOn October 8, John Vetterly Jr. and John Baranski, respectively, the former president and secretary-treasurer of Utility Workers Union of America Local 475, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for embezzling funds from the Pittsburgh-area union. Vetterly is accused of stealing $26,605; Baranski is accused of stealing $4,246. The indictments follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Treasurer of IATSE District Council in Wisconsin Pleads Guilty

IATSE logoOn October 3, Ira Alper, former treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees District 9, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of embezzling $76,768 in union funds. He had been charged in August. The district council is based in Madison, Wisconsin, but Alper had committed the theft in Illinois, thus explaining the prosecution occurring in the latter state. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Dissenting Illinois Home Care Workers

Home care worker and patient State governments are becoming effective union organizers. Several employees in Illinois, unhappy over the prospect of being forced to subsidize such an arrangement, are pushing back. And they've got themselves an audience at the highest level. On October 1, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by a group of home care providers objecting to an executive order issued in 2009 by Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn that reclassified their status as "state employee," so as to bring them under union representation. The class-action case, known as Harris v. Quinn, will test the High Court's willingness to build on its Knox v. SEIU ruling of last year, which held that a California Service Employees union could not force covered nonunion employees to pay fees to support its political activism.

Operating Engineers Bookkeeper in Denver Charged with Embezzlement

Operating EngineerOn October 1, Ronald Martin, former bookkeeper for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 9, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado with embezzling funds of an unspecified amount from the Denver union. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE Local President in Texas Sentenced for Theft

AFGE logoOn September 30, Roberto Macias Jr., former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2759, was sentenced in the 4th Judicial District Court, County of Rusk, Texas, to three years of probation for theft from the El Paso-based union. He also was ordered to pay $2,775 in restitution. Macias had been charged with felony theft in the amount of $2,800 last November following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor Department Standards.

Boston-Area Plasterers Secretary Accepts Finding of Facts in Theft Charge

OP & CMIA logoOn September 25, Linda Weed, former office secretary for Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association Local 534, accepted a finding a sufficient facts, and a continuance without a finding, in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk County Court, of one count of larceny of property in an amount of over $250. She then was sentenced to one month of probation and was ordered to make $7,294 in restitution. The union is based in Dorchester, Mass. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor management Standards.

Security Professionals Local Treasurer in Texas Charged with Theft

SPFPA logoOn September 24, Carl Green, former treasurer of Security, Police and Fire Professionals (SPFPA) of America Local 126, was charged in the State of Texas, 118th District Court, Howard County, with unlawfully appropriating property from the Big Spring, Tex.-based union. The charge follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFL-CIO Aids Day Laborer Center Campaign to Block Deportations

Day laborersOrganized labor doesn't waste too many opportunities when it comes to promoting illegal immigration. For over a dozen years, in fact, the AFL-CIO has made it official policy to support the granting of amnesty to persons living illegally here. But with the House of Representatives unlikely to follow the Senate's lead in passing immigration amnesty/surge legislation, unions are drawing ever closer to "day laborer" radical nonprofit groups in hopes of persuading legislators to come around. The best-known of these is the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, or NDLON.

Texas Glass Workers Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Theft

GMP logoOn September 18, Johnny Torres Jr., former secretary-treasurer of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union Local 259, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to three years of probation for embezzling funds from the Waco union. He also was ordered to pay $9,947 in restitution, plus a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Torres had pleaded guilty in July after being indicted in May. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Financial Secretary in Upstate New York Sentenced

Steelworkers logoOn September 19, William Mochrie, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 28, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to two years of probation for making false entries in union financial records to cover up embezzlement of funds from the Castleton-on-Hudson, N.Y. (near Albany) union. He also was ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $14,569 plus a $25 assessment. Mochrie had been charged on May 8 and pleaded guilty two weeks later. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFL-CIO Maritime Department Treasurer in Chicago Sentenced

AFL-CIO Maritime logoOn September 16, Bonnie Heraty, former treasurer of the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Greater Chicago Area Port Council, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to two years of probation, including six months of home detention, and ordered to pay $12,974 in restitution and a $25 special assessment for making a false entry in the financial records of the Joliet, Ill.-based labor organization. Heraty had pled guilty in May. The sentencing follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

UAW Steps Up Organizing Campaign at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant

VW employees at Chattanooga plantMembership in the United Auto Workers has declined dramatically these past few decades. But its officials at last may have found a way to recapture the glory days: Team up with the Germans. Last month, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., alleged that an activist board member of Volkswagen Group forced the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker to disclose that it was negotiating with the UAW to unionize its Chattanooga assembly plant. This factory, like other foreign-owned plants in the South, is nonunion. The powerful German union, IG Metall, and VW management are backing the UAW's campaign to change that. The UAW recently announced that a majority of workers there had signed cards indicating their desire to join.

Fallen Southern California SEIU Local President Sentenced

Service Employees logoConsidering how much he stole, Tyrone Freeman should consider himself lucky. This past Monday, on October 7, Freeman, ex-president of Service Employees International Union Local 6434, was sentenced in Los Angeles federal court to two years and nine months in prison for stealing union funds and making false statements in connection with obtaining a mortgage loan. He also was ordered to pay about $150,000 in restitution. Prior to his ouster by SEIU International President Andrew Stern in 2008, Freeman had been considered by many to be Stern's heir apparent. He was indicted last July on 15 criminal counts and convicted this January on 14 of them. "I am accountable for these bad decisions," Freeman stated at his sentencing. Unfortunately, his offenses were more than simply bad business decisions.

New Jersey Longshoremen Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

Longshoremen at workGregory Taylor at least can be thankful that his required restitution could be higher. On September 12, Taylor, former secretary-treasurer of International Longshoremen's Association Local 1233, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to six months in prison plus six months of home confinement for embezzling funds from the Newark-based union. He also was ordered to pay $71,000 in restitution. Taylor had been charged in September 2011 and pleaded guilty this past February after initially pleading not guilty. Taylor already had been removed from his post by the union in May 2010. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Transport Workers Local President in Upstate New York Pleads Guilty

Transport Workers logoOn September 12, David Kellner, former president of Transport Workers Union Local 2020, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to entering a false statement in financial records of the Grand Island, N.Y. (near Niagara Falls) union. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Upstate New York IBEW President Pleads Guilty to Filing False Claims

IBEW logoMark Valerio managed to game the system for nine years. Then the law of averages caught up. On September 18, federal prosecutors announced that Valerio, formerly president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 249, had pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to filing duplicate claims for reimbursement totaling nearly $40,000 and then concealing the fraud. IBEW Local 249 is based in Geneva, N.Y., located in Finger Lakes region between Syracuse and Rochester. Valerio faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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