Connecticut Boss Used Union to Pay for $15,900 of Personal Expenses on Government Credit Card

U.S. Dist. Judge Robert N. Chatigny (D. Conn., Clinton) sentenced Ralph Varnado, ex-president of Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Employees Local 1674 in West Haven, Conn., Apr. 12 to five years probation and six months of home confinement and was ordered to make total restitution of $15,973.99. He pled guilty Sept. 17 to one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 641, embezzlement of public money. Varnado, also an employee of a Veteran’s Affairs Med. Ctr., confessed that on numerous occasion in 1999 and 2000 he misused used his government-issued credit card to pay for personal expenses. Further, Varnado abused his position of trust as local president by embezzling over $15,000 from the local’s account to cover these credit card payments, as well as other personal expenses. At sentencing, Chatigny state that there was a “strong argument” for imposing a prison sentence given Varnado’s repeated acts of embezzlement over a period of time. But Chatigny concluded that sentence of probation was appropriate to allow Varnado to remain employed and meet his restitution obligations. [USAO D. Conn. 4/12/02; DOL 4/12/02]

Cleveland Boss Indicted on Seven Union Corruption Counts
Cuyahoga (Ohio) County grand jury indicted Rollie McHugh, ex-financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 2358, Mar. 29 on one count of theft, two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering, and two counts of tampering with records for allegedly embezzling between $500 and $5,000. The charges result from a federal probe. The Cleveland-Local 2358 is now merged into UAW Amalgamated Local 70 in Bedford, Ohio. [Plain Dealer 4/18/02; DOL 3/29/02]

Boss Indicted on Two Counts, Allegedly Embezzled $8,163 from North Carolina Local
On Apr. 17, Hugh C. Credle, ex-president of Am. Postal Workers Union Local 1616 in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., was indicted on one count of embezzling $8,163 in union funds and one count of making false entries in union records. [DOL 4/17/02; USAO E.D.N.C. 4/24/02]

Tennessean Order to Pay $5,700 in Restitution
On Apr. 15, Michelle Arington, ex-bookkeeper of United Steelworkers of Am. Local 9-194-L, was sentenced in U.S. Dist. Court for the Middle Dist. of Tenn. to five years probation and was ordered to make restitution of $5,707. As a special condition of probation, she must disclose her conviction to any employer for whom she is handling funds. She was indicted Aug. 21 and later pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds and one count of making false entries in union records. [DOL 4/15/02]

Nashville Boss Charged with $5,500 Union Embezzlement
Robert M. Bruce, ex-financial secretary of Paper, Allied-Indus., Chemical & Energy Workers Local 5-0080 in Nashville was indicted Apr. 9 on one count of embezzling $5,546 in union funds and one count of making false entries in union records. [DOL 4/9/02]

Boss Charged with Stealing $4,100 from Indianapolis Local
On Apr. 17, in Marion County (Ind.) state court, James M. Johnson, ex-president of United Auto Workers Local 361 in Indianapolis, was charged in a one-count information with theft for embezzling approximately $4,150 in union funds. [DOL 4/17/02]

Western Wisconsin Boss Charged with Theft
On Apr. 10, in Dunn County (Wis.) state court, Judy Hase, ex-secretary-treasurer of Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees Local 727-D in Menomonie, Wis., was charged in a criminal complaint with theft for embezzling $389 in union funds. [DOL 4/10/02]