Union Corruption Update

Ex-Treasurer Admits Theft in Ohio Court

Wendy Braddock was sentenced on July 26 to 3 yrs. probation for stealing $48,000 from the Indian Hill Educ. Assn. between Aug. 1, 2001 and Dec. 1, 2003.  Hamilton County Common Pleas Ct. Judge Melba Marsh sentenced Braddock after making her stand before 4 teachers who sat in the jury box.  Judge Marsh was angry after reading the pre-sentencing report, in which Braddock avoided personal responsibility for the stolen funds with statements such as, "I apparently did this."


Ex-Trustee Sentenced for Role in Capital Consultants Scandal

On July 15, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Dist. of Ore., Dennis Paul Talbott, former secy.-treasurer of Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, was sentenced to 3 yrs. probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.  Talbott pled guilty to 1 count of accepting a gratuity in connection with his duties as a trustee of an employee benefit plan.  The gratuity he accepted involved hunting and fishing trips paid for by Capital Consultants (CCL).  CCL was involved in the loss of over 350 million dollars-mostly from union pension funds.  The conviction follows an investigation by the Seattle Dist. Ofc. of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards, the IRS, the FBI, the Dept. of Labor's Ofc. of Inspector General and the Employee Benefits Security Administration. [OLMS, 7/28/04]


Report: Feds Preparing Nationwide Racketeering Suit against ILA

The New York Post reports that the U.S. Attny. for the East. Dist. of N.Y. is preparing a nationwide civil suit against the Intl. Longshoremen's Assn.  The reported preparations come on the heels of a string of arrests and convictions of ILA bosses from NYC to Miami for racketeering and organized crime influence.  The model for such an intervention already exists in the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters, which is still under court supervision 15 yrs. after settling a similar lawsuit by the then-U.S. Attny. for the Sou. Dist. of NY, Rudolph Giuliani.


N.J. Unionists Turn out for Indicted Mob Boss's Party

A video turned over to the court-appointed administrator for Local 1588 of the Intl. Longshoremen's Assn. shows numerous members of the union attending the birthday party for a reputed mob associate.  Such association would violate a 1992 court order barring any association between 1588 and organized crime.  On the basis of this evidence, the temp. administrator, frmr. NYPD chief Robert McGuire, has asked U.S. Dist. Judge John Martin, Jr. (SD, NY, GHW Bush) to delay officer election for a yr.


AFL-CIO Loses Last Fight to Stop LM-2 Reform

U.S. Dist. Judge Gladys Kessler (D.C., Clinton) has cleared away the AFL-CIO's last gasp attempt to escape the reformed financial disclosure forms they and the nation's wealthiest unions must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.  Last Jan., Kessler ordered that the revised LM-2 forms take effect, either on July 1, 2004, or 90 days after DOL made available a "fully tested version" of the computer program for filling out the new form.


Hotel Employee, Textile Employee Unions Merge

At a joint convention ending on July 10, the merger of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees intl. union and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees became official.  Now known as UNITE-HERE, the frmr. UNITE chief, Bruce Raynor, will become the merged union's gen. pres.; while the frmr. head of HERE, John Wilhem, will now be the new union's hospitality industry pres.  Left unanswered is whether Jesse Jackson's mistress, Karin Stanford, will now be on the payroll of the merged union, as she was put on the HERE payroll in 1999, collecting $35,000 plus health care benefits while performing little work for the HERE.


Four Ex-UTU Officials Sentenced for Racketeering

Byron Boyd and Charles A. Little, both frmr. presidents of the United Transportation Union (UTU), were each sentenced to prison terms on July 9, and ordered to forfeit to the United States a total of $200,000 in racketeering activity proceeds.  U.S. Dist. Judge Sim Lake (S.D. TX, Reagan) sentenced Boyd and Little to each serve a 2 year term of imprisonment, without parole, and ordered each to forfeit to the United States $100,000 in racketeering proceeds. Both men were also fined $10,000 each.


Ex-Clerk Charged with Stealing nearly $800K from NY Pension Fund

Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau announced that Indera Vieira was indicted on July 9 for allegedly stealing $789,000 from the benefit fund she previously worked for.  The $6.5 bil. benefit fund is jointly run by Local 1199 of the Serv. Employees Intl. Union and the hospitals for whom their employees work.


DOL Sues Ex-Union Trustees for Abandoning Pittsburgh Welfare Plan

On July 8, The U.S. Dept. of Labor sued Local 19 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Wrkrs. and Grain Millers Union and the trustees of the ABC Local No. 12 Employer and Employee Life Benefit Fund in Pittsburgh, Pa., for abandoning the fund.  The Department has also sued a former employee of the plan for unauthorized use of plan assets.  The fund provides death benefits to beneficiaries of members of the former Local 12 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union. Local 19 was charged as a successor fiduciary after its merger with Local 12 in March 2004.


Fla. Prosecutors Seek Forfeiture of Racketeering Proceeds

Federal prosecutors estimate that Walter Browne, once head of the Natl. Fedtn. of Public and Private Employees (NFPPE), and his sister made $592,954 as a result of their racketeering.  According to Asst. U.S. Attny. Lawrence LaVecchio, that figure is a "conservative" estimate, which he is asking a fed. ct. judge to declare forfeit.  Browne took in more than $468,000 in so-called "consulting contracts" with employers, in exchange for Browne keeping his union away from them.  His sister, Patricia Devaney, embezzled $116,000 from the union's payroll.  Both were also found guilty on June 2 of padding their union expense accts. [Sun-Sentinel, 7/8/04]

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