Of all the motives for corruption by union officials and members, few are more disheartening, or these days common, as the need to cover gambling losses. Donald Lee Travis, a retired officer with the Frederick, Md. police force, is the latest example. Travis, 67, pleaded guilty in Frederick County Circuit Court on February 6 to embezzling at least $45,000 from his Fraternal Order of Police lodge to support a slot-machine habit, receiving a suspended five-year sentence. A 30-year veteran of the force, he admitted he stole from the lodge, which he managed during 2004 and 2005. He regularly played the slot machines at Charles Town Races and Slots, located in nearby Charles Town, West Virginia, spending around $500 to $600 per trip. Travis should have bet on the horses – or found something else to do. (Associated Press, 2/7/07).
Ex-Milwaukee Local Bosses Charged in Superseding Indictment
On February 8, Debra M. Timko and Danny L. Iverson, each a former president of Service Employees International Union Local 150, were charged in federal court in a 33-count superseding indictment with mail and wire fraud, embezzlement and failure to properly maintain union records. Their thefts defrauded the Milwaukee union out of more than $90,000. The indictment supersedes an earlier one handed down last March. Federal prosecutors allege that the pair received duplicate payments for expenses, received reimbursements for charges to a union credit card, and claimed meal expenses on days they were eligible for full per-diem reimbursements anyway. The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 2/16/07; other sources).
Former Office Manager in Texas Sentenced for Embezzlement
On February 1, Judy Cary, former office manager for Communications Workers of America Local 6127, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to five years probation, three months home confinement and 300 hours of community service for embezzling $29,000 in union funds. She pleaded guilty back in August. In addition to serving time, she will have to pay $25,267 in restitution, plus a $7,500 fine and a $100 special assessment. The local is based in Midland, Tex. (OLMS, 2/16/07).
Bookkeeper of Pennsylvania Local Sentenced for Thefts
On February 8, Sally Hollis, ex-bookkeeper for Local 112 of the Office & Professional Employees International Union, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to two years probation, including four months in a community corrections center, for embezzling more than $20,000 in union funds. She also will have to pay restitution in the amount of $14,543.60 to the Harrisburg-based union, which represents health care employees throughout Pennsylvania. Hollis pleaded guilty in October. (OLMS, 2/16/07).
Pittsburgh-Area Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On February 7, Stephen A. Kostelac, former secretary-treasurer for International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local Lodge 906, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to one count of embezzlement. He had been charged in November with 16 counts of stealing $13,748.22 in funds from the union, which is based in Donora, Pa., not far from Pittsburgh. (OLMS, 2/16/07).
Secretary-Treasurer in Missouri Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On January 18, David Hlavacek, secretary-treasurer of Local 7065 of the American Postal Workers Union, pleaded guilty in federal court for the Western District of Missouri to one count of embezzling $6,383 in union funds. He had been charged in December with one count of embezzling that same amount during roughly February 2003 to September 2005. (OLMS, 2/16/07).