Henry Clay Green Sr. controlled his local union’s finances. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control his drug habit. Last Friday, December 1, Green, formerly secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 26, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to embezzling $171,455 in funds from the Medford, Mass.-based union, which represents various hospitality industry employees in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He had been charged in an information count on November 15. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Green, now 60, a resident of Boston, served in his position during 2011-16. For most if not all of that time, say prosecutors, he used that position as a license to divert funds to what his attorney called a “raging” addiction to opioid pills. Eventually, UNITE HERE Local 26 officials confronted him whereupon he confessed. This led to a request by the union for a Labor Department probe. And that led to a Justice Department prosecution. At sentencing, set for March 13, he faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine and a restitution order.