For three years, stealing came all too easy to Dorothy McBride. Now her life is going to get a lot more difficult. Last Thursday, January 28, McBride, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 81427, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey with embezzling a combined sum of around $635,000 from the Montville (Morris County), N.J.-based union and two related employee benefit plans for which she served as administrator. She then was released on a $250,000 unsecured bond. The union represents electronics workers in Northern New Jersey. The charge follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Dorothy McBride, now 74, a resident of Montville, had control over the bank accounts of her union and benefit funds, and especially after when she was elected Local 81427 president in 2017. According to prosecutors, starting around 2015 she used her positions to divert union funds to herself or relatives who also were union or benefit fund officers. She continued to move union funds to her private accounts through June 2018. In all, she diverted approximately $100,000 from the union and $534,470 from its welfare and pension plans for personal uses. Suspicious local officials conducted an audit in July 2018, concluding that McBride was the culprit. The local proceeded to remove her and the relatives from their positions. Shortly thereafter, CWA headquarters in Washington, D.C. placed the local under trusteeship.