John Earvin used union funds to pay for personal expenses, much of it gambling-related. Now he’s about to pay a debt to society. On November 10, Earvin, formerly president of the United Federation of Law Enforcement Officers (UFLEO), was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to six months of home confinement, three years of probation and 600 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Bellerose (Nassau County), N.Y.-based union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $28,012. Earvin had pleaded guilty in June after being arrested and indicted on one count of wire fraud in March. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On November 6, Marcella Champion, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1831, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with one count of theft from the Washington, D.C. union in the amount of $4,130. The local represents federal security employees. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
For Eric Givens, being an Amtrak cop was an opportunity to steal union funds as well as protect the public. That’s why he’s now about to embark on a trip of a different sort. On November 12, Givens, former secretary-treasurer of Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 189 and the Amtrak Police Labor Committee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to 16 months in prison and three months of supervised release for embezzling a combined more than $100,000 in funds from the two New York-based labor organizations. He also was ordered to pay about $127,000 in restitution and forfeit another roughly $12,000. Givens had pleaded guilty in June following his arrest and indictment a year earlier.
On October 30, Bonita Scherling, former secretary-treasurer of Communications Workers of America Local 7970, was indicted in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, County of Hood River, on one count of theft, one count of forgery and two counts of identity theft in relation to her position at the Hood River-based union. The indictment follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 29, Jacqueline Askew, former bookkeeper for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Council 35, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to two years of probation for embezzling $40,930 in funds from the Roslindale (Boston), Mass.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $18,720 in restitution, a $2,500 fine and a $100 special assessment. Askew, who previously paid $22,209 in restitution, had pled guilty in July after being charged in June. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Marijuana has become a labor issue as well as a legal and commercial one. In one union, that means corruption. On September 17, Daniel Rush, an organizer for the United Food and Commercial Workers, was indicted in Oakland, Calif. by a federal grand jury for bribe-taking, attempted extortion, honest services fraud, and money-laundering related to his receipt of over $500,000 in cash and other things of value from marijuana dispensary employers in return for his advice to the employers on how to avoid being unionized. Arrested on August 11 after a lengthy FBI probe, Rush pleaded not guilty on September 23. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California told NLPC today that a status conference is set for December 14.
On October 27, Chad Petras, former secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342C, pleaded guilty in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to one count of attempted theft of funds from the union. He then was sentenced to 180 days in jail (suspended) and one year of probation, and was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution and a $150 fine. Petras had been indicted on one count in January 2013. The union, at the time of the offense was based in Rising Sun, Ind., but since has moved to Cincinnati. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 27, Julie Skaggs, former office manager of International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 372, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to six months of home detention and five years of probation for embezzlement of $51,491 in funds from the Cincinnati union. She also was ordered to pay $67,874 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. Skaggs pleaded guilty in July after being charged in March 2014. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 20, James Adams, former secretary treasurer of Transportation Division Local 427 of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation, or SMART (formerly United Transportation Union), was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on one count of embezzling $45,043 in funds from the Byram, Miss.-based union and one count of making false statements in union financial records. The indictment follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On October 19, Richard Molczyk, former treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 493, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska to five years of probation and ordered to pay $13,196 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for embezzling funds from the Omaha union. He had pleaded guilty in April after being indicted in August 2014. United Transportation Union is now formally Transportation Division of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART), the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers having merged several years ago. Local 493 is now based in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.