On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
Organized 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
Membership 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.
Considering 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.
Gregory 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.