California Boss Gets Five Months for $64,700 Embezzlement

Deborah Bankston, ex-financial secretary-treasurer of Ass’n of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Local 83 in Stockton, Cal., was sentenced Feb. 20 to five months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised probation for embezzling $64,711.65 in union funds. She was also ordered to make full restitution.  Bankston pled guilty to one count of union embezzlement. She was charged on Sept. 26. [DOL 2/20/02]

Washington Staffer Charged with $15,600 Embezzlement
Geri E. Abbe, ex-office secretary for Ass’n of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Local 5 in Camas, Wash., was charged Feb. 22 in a one-count information with embezzling $15,690 in union funds. [DOL 2/22/02]

New Jersey Boss Admits $23,000 Embezzlement (information added 3/21/02)
Stephen Burks, ex-comptroller of Am. Fed’n of State, County, & Mun. Employees Council 71 in Williamstown, N.J., pled guilty Mar. 4 to embezzling in more than of $23,000 in union funds. Allegedly, he embezzled the funds from Sept. 1997 to Jan. 1999. The local was within the jurisdiction of federal anti-union-corruption law because it represented employees at private sector nursing homes. He was indicted on May 15, 2001. The case is assigned to U.S. Dist. Judge Joel A. Pisano (D.N.J., Clinton). [DOL 3/4/02; USAO D.N.J. 3/18/02]

Iowa Boss Sentenced for $5,300 Theft
U.S. Dist. Judge Michael J. Melloy (N.D. Iowa, H.W. Bush) sentenced admitted union embezzler, Terrance P. Baldridge, ex-financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 1349 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mar. 6 to two years probation, fined him $1,000, and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service. Baldridge pled guilty Dec. 3 to embezzling $5,307.34 from the local. From Oct. 1996 to July 2000, he wrote checks on union accounts and used the money for personal expenses including $1,150 for a bail bond for his son. Melloy also ordered the ex-boss to make full restitution; $800 remains outstanding. He was indicted Oct. 5 for embezzling $1,150. [USAO N.D. Iowa 3/6/02; DOL 3/7/02; Des Moines Reg. 3/11/02]

Georgia Boss Sentenced, Ordered to Pay $2,600 in Restitution
Joseph Argo, ex-president of Int’l Ass’n of Machinists Lodge 615 in Marietta, Ga., pled guilty Feb. 5 to one count of making false entries in union records. He was sentenced in U.S. Dist. Court for the N. Dist. of Ga. to six months probation, fined $500, and ordered to make restitution of $2,643.80. He was charged in a one-count information on Jan. 15. [DOL 2/5/02]

Baltimore Local Agrees to Rerun Tainted Election
On Feb. 26, a Stipulation of Settlement between the Dep’t of Labor and Int’l Ass’n of Machinists Local 33-S in Baltimore was filed in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Md. Pursuant to this Stipulation, DOL will supervise new nominations and a new election for Local 33-S officers. DOL filed suit in Dec. 2001 against the local after a DOL probe revealed that the local’s application of an unreasonable meeting attendance requirement excluded approximately 90% of the members from running for office. In addition, the meeting attendance requirement was applied retroactively and not uniformly applied. As provided in the Stipulation, the local’s meeting attendance requirement will not be enforced during the DOL-supervised election. [DOL 2/26/02]

Atlanta Boss Sentenced, Ordered to Pay $1,700 in Restitution
Charles Astin, ex-president of Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union Local 343 in Atlanta, pled guilty to one count of failure to maintain records. He was sentenced in U.S. Dist. Court for the N. Dist. of Ga. to six months probation, fined $750, and ordered to make restitution of $1,735. He was charged in a one-count information on Jan. 15. [DOL 2/5/02]