Federal Building Security Guard Boss Charged with Fraud

dollarsThe saga of Caleb Gray-Burriss, the security officers’ union boss who made members feel less secure, continues. On June 25, Gray-Burriss, founder and president of the National Association of Special Police and Security Officers (NASPSO), was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on four counts of mail fraud in an amount of more than $100,000. He was arrested four days later. Back in 2006 the Department of Labor had obtained a temporary restraining order removing NASPSO and Gray-Burriss as fiduciary agents of the union pension and health plans. “We never misused any of the membership money,” he said in a phone interview

Some people might have a hard time with that claim. Caleb Gray-Burriss, 59, a District of Columbia resident, has been virtually synonymous with the leadership of NASPSO, which represents some 800 private security guards for federal buildings in the Washington, D.C. area. That includes benefit plans. Starting in June 2004 and January 2006, respectively, he assumed control over the union pension and health plans. He apparently didn’t waste to much time enriching himself. An investigation by the Labor Department revealed that starting in September 2004 he made numerous withdrawals totaling nearly $96,000 from the union pension and health plans. In August 2006, the DOL obtained a court order removing Gray-Burriss and NASPSO from their positions with the plans; barred them from future decision-making authority; and indefinitely froze plan accounts.

It was a long delay, but nearly four years later a federal grand jury acted, indicting Gray-Burriss on slightly revised evidence. From approximately June 2004 through August 2006, Gray-Burriss allegedly wrote numerous checks to himself and other parties drawn from the union pension account, spending at least $102,000. Dissenting union members, who for years have operated a website revealing their leader’s corruption (www.eyeoncaleb.org), no doubt feel a certain vindication.