In opening statements on Jan. 14, fed. prosecutors accused Charles Novak and other frmr. officials of Local 1 of the Intl. Union of Elevator Constructors of lining their pockets with the wages of no-show wrkrs.Novak's trial on racketeering charges began on the 14th."Workers got paid for being in bars, for doing whatever," said Asst. U.S. Attny. Keir Dougall.From each no-show paycheck, Dougall said, a percentage went to Novak and more than 2 dozen other Local 1 bosses and members, while contractors received the rest as kickbacks.
On Jan. 16, U.S. Dist. Judge Richard Arcara (W.D. NY, Reagan) rejected an attempt by lawyers for 14 Buffalo union bosses and associates to throw out their racketeering indictment.Judge Arcara ordered prosecutors and defense lawyers to appear before him on Jan. 20 to set a trial date.The 14 associates of Local 91 of the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer. (LIUNA) were charged in May 2002 with a series of threats, vandalism, assaults and bombings directed at non-union contractors and their employees.
On January 8, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the North. Dist. of Indiana, Sandra Briggs, frmr. treasurer of the Natl. Assn. of Letter Carriers Branch 378, was sentenced to 24 months probation, a $1000 fine, and a special assessment of $25 for creating false records. Additionally, Briggs was ordered to pay $58.76 in restitution. The sentence follows an investigation by the Chicago District Ofc. of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 1/14/04]
Ex-President Sentenced for Embezzlement in Montana Fed. Court
U.S. Dist. Judge Gladys Kessler (D.C., Clinton), on New Year's Eve, blocked the immediate implementation of the Bush Administration's union financial disclosure reforms.Union bosses will now be able to spend membership dues, voluntary and compulsory, on election-year politics without having to account for it, which the new disclosure rules would force them to do.
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) and state Sen. Tony Hill (D) asked a judge on Dec. 19 to be merciful to George Spencer, president of Local 1408 of the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn.Spencer pled no contest in Oct. to witness-tampering to protect a local member later convicted of rape.Elected president of the Local last Dec. with the witness-tampering charge pending, Spencer agreed to resign his position effective Jan. 31.
[Intl. Longshoremen's Assn. president] John Bowers…collects $390,825 a year on the international's payroll, and many members think that's his total compensation.It's not.The 79-year-old Bowers pulls down $160,296 more as head of the union's Atlantic Coast District. Grand tally: $551,121. His pay leaped 10% from $502,957 in 2001.
Not far behind are at least five officials who make more than $400,000, and a dozen who top $300,000, according to a Daily News review of U.S. Department of Labor filings for 2002, the most recently available year…
Three women whose complaints of sexual harassment were instrumental in the firing of a union boss from his hospital job have reported getting threatening letters and phone calls, with 1 woman finding a mutilated rabbit in her front yard.Three other accusers were named in a federal lawsuit by the ex-Western State mental hospital mgr., Barrette "Bear" Green, claiming to have been the victim of racism.Green is also the frmr. head of Local 793 of the Wash. Fedtn. of Public Employees, which is affiliated with the Amer. Fedtn. Of State, County & Municipal Employees.
Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau announced on Dec. 22 the arrest of Lloyd Clarke on charges of embezzling some $2.4 million from a local of Dist. Council 37.D.C. 37 has seen more than 30 frmr. officials convicted of embezzlement and vote fraud.Clarke worked for more than 20 yrs. As the treasurer of Local 375, the Civil Service Technical Guild.The guild is affiliated with Amer. Fedtn. Of State, County & Municipal Employees.
U.S. Dist. Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. (E.D. CA, G.H.W. Bush) sentenced Gail S. Jones to 2 1/2 yrs In prison for embezzling nearly $1 million in union funds to support her gambling habit.Asst. U.S. Attny. Mark Krotoski told Judge Burrell on Dec. 5 that Jones had quickly her crime to investigators and cooperating with them.Her prison term is the lowest possible under fed. sentencing guidelines.Judge Burrell also ordered Jones to repay $925,443 to the Calif. State Employees Assn. (CSEA), for whom Jones worked for 11 yrs. as a program specialist with responsibilities for cash mgmt., investments and bank reconciliations.
William Lane pled guilty on Dec. 16 to stealing $13,500 from a Fargo, ND union.He was a welder at a tractor plant when members of Local Lodge 2525 of the Intl. Assn. of Machinists (IAM) elected him vice president in Oct. 1999.He later became acting president of the Local.Between Oct. 30, 2000 and April 30, 2001, he wrote checks to himself on the union's account and falsified records to cover up his theft.Lane told U.S. District Judge Rodney Webb (ND, Reagan) that he was going through a "nasty divorce" and started stealing from the union to pay for drugs.