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.

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.

Teachers Union President in NE Pennsylvania Pleads Guilty

School daysIt may have been a formality, but it was a relief to get out of the way. Last Wednesday, October 2, Lisa Barrett, former president of the Wyoming Area School District Teachers Union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to embezzling over $30,000 in funds from the Exeter, Pa. (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area) union over a six-year period. Union Corruption Update had noted the day before that Barrett had expressed her intent to plead guilty upon being charged on September 24. Barrett and prosecutors did not reach an agreement as to sentencing, set for January.

NE Pennsylvania Teachers Union President Charged; Set to Plead Guilty

School daysSay this for Lisa Barrett: She isn't one to deny the obvious. Last week, Barrett, former president of the Exeter, Pa.-based Wyoming Area School District Teachers Union, was charged in federal court with embezzling more than $30,000 in funds from the union over a six-year period. According to her attorney, she "has agreed to accept full responsibility for her actions," including making full restitution. She had resigned as union president in February, the same month she took an indefinite leave of absence from her teaching post. The local school board accepted her resignation as a teacher at an August 20 meeting. The school district is located in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

New Orleans-Area Security Professionals President Sentenced

SPFPA logoOn September 5, Wayne Boudoin, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 709, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to two years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling funds from the Houma, La. union over a more than seven-year period. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $16,398. Boudoin previously had made $20,988 in restitution. He had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in April. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Oklahoma Carpenters Secretary Indicted for Embezzlement

Carpenters logoOn September 3, Angela Webster, former office secretary for United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 943, was indicted U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma for embezzling $13,015 in funds from the Tulsa-based union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

AFGE Treasurer in Oklahoma Indicted for False Record-Keeping

AFGE logoOn September 3, Shelly Roanhorse, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3601, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma for making false statements in the records of the Claremore (Rogers County), Okla.-based union. Local 3601 represents employees of the federal government's Indian Hospital in Claremore. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Oklahoma Sheet Metal Workers Business Manager Indicted

Sheet metal workerOn September 3, Michael Couch, former business manager for Sheet Metal Workers Local 270, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma for embezzling $12,825 in funds from the Tulsa union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Machinists Secretary-Treasurer in Mississippi Sentenced

Machinists logoOn September 3, Bonnie Nixon, former secretary-treasurer of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge W443, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling $15,981.66 in funds from the Laurel-based union. She also was ordered to pay $16,368 in restitution. Nixon had been indicted last December and pleaded guilty in April. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Secretary-Treasurer in Pennsylvania Pleads Guilty

Steelworkers logoOn August 29, Bernard Nolter, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 635, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to one count of falsifying records in connection with embezzlement of funds from the Mount Carmel (Northumberland County), Pa.-based union. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Pennsylvania Glass Workers Local Secretary Charged with Embezzlement

GMP logoOn August 29, David Barr, former secretary-treasurer for Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union Local 99, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania with embezzling funds in the amount of $5,688 from the New Brighton (northwest of Pittsburgh) union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Steelworkers Secretary in Pennsylvania Charged with Records Fraud

Steelworkers logoOn August 28, Michael Pontician, former financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 480, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to falsifying records to conceal the embezzlement of funds from the Pottsville (Schuylkill County), Pa.-based union. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Baltimore Electrical and Radio Workers Secretary Charged

UE logoOn September 12, James Babcock, financial secretary of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) Local 121, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland with embezzling about $24,000 in funds over a five-year period from the Baltimore union. According to the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General, Babcock "wrote in excess of one hundred (100) checks to himself drawn against the union operating account, converting the proceeds to his own personal use and benefit, and making misrepresentations on the memo lines of the checks." In a May interview, Babcock allegedly admitted to investigators that "he intentionally stole the union's dues during the relevant period because he was having financial difficulties." The Labor Department also charges that he made "materially false statements and misrepresentations" on union annual financial reporting forms. UE Local 121 represents machinists at the Baltimore-based Clendenin Brothers Inc.

Syndicate content