The consequences of theft were far more expensive than Danny Woodcock had anticipated. On August 29, Woodcock, ex-president of Communications Workers of America Local 83770, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to 46 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $519,963.04 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for stealing more than $300,000 in funds from the Columbus, Miss. union. Woodcock had pleaded guilty in August 2018 after being indicted in November 2017. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Communications Workers Local 83770 represents between 300 and 400 employees of L3 Vertex Aerospace, LLC, an engineering and maintenance contractor operating at Columbus Air Force Base. According to prosecutors, Woodcock, now 66, a resident of Caledonia (Lowndes County), Miss., not only headed the union but stole from it as well. During February 2013-September 2016, he made dozens of unauthorized transfers of funds totaling $302,969 from a union checking account to a personal account. A Labor Department probe determined that missing local funds were attributable to him. Woodcock initially pleaded guilty but eventually reversed course. U.S. Attorney Chad Lamar put it this way following sentencing: “This case is a sad example of honest workers being defrauded by someone whom they trusted to speak for them and represent their best interests.”