U.S. Dist. Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. (E.D. CA, G.H.W. Bush) sentenced Gail S. Jones to 2 1/2 yrs In prison for embezzling nearly $1 million in union funds to support her gambling habit. Asst. U.S. Attny. Mark Krotoski told Judge Burrell on Dec. 5 that Jones had quickly her crime to investigators and cooperating with them. Her prison term is the lowest possible under fed. sentencing guidelines. Judge Burrell also ordered Jones to repay $925,443 to the Calif. State Employees Assn. (CSEA), for whom Jones worked for 11 yrs. as a program specialist with responsibilities for cash mgmt., investments and bank reconciliations.
Jones admitted to Sacramento police and an FBI agent on July 22 lat year that she began her embezzlement in 1997 to support her gambling addiction. Hoping to win back the money she stole and repay the union, Jones said she created 236 fraudulent checks to cover … Read More ➡
William Lane pled guilty on Dec. 16 to stealing $13,500 from a Fargo, ND union. He was a welder at a tractor plant when members of Local Lodge 2525 of the Intl. Assn. of Machinists (IAM) elected him vice president in Oct. 1999. He later became acting president of the Local. Between Oct. 30, 2000 and April 30, 2001, he wrote checks to himself on the union’s account and falsified records to cover up his theft. Lane told U.S. District Judge Rodney Webb (ND, Reagan) that he was going through a “nasty divorce” and started stealing from the union to pay for drugs.
In addition to the $13,500 in fraudulent union checks, Lane cashed a union check for $2,850 at a credit union on April 25, 2001, knowing that the union’s checking acct. had been closed. Asst. U.S. Attny. Keith Reisenauer said that the govt. will seek $16,350 in restitution. … Read More ➡
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma on Dec. 16 rejected two separate attempts by union lawyers to deny Oklahoma citizens the right to choose whether or not to join or support financially a union, upholding Oklahoma’s constitutional Right to Work amendment which was passed by statewide referendum in September 2001.
With its ruling the state’s Sup. Ct. effectively ended a two-year legal battle waged by attorneys for Gov. Frank Keating alongside National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys against union lawyers bent on reclaiming the privilege of compulsory unionism they enjoyed prior to that referendum. “Today is a great day for Oklahoma. No longer will there be a dark cloud over the Right to Work amendment that has already resulted in the creation of new jobs, an increase in wages, and more employee freedom compared to states without such protections,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President … Read More ➡
Among those leading the movement for greater corporate financial transparency among publicly trade firms is the AFL-CIO.
With huge pension funds under its umbrella, the labor federation has a vested interest that happens, despite excesses at the edges of its policy proposals, to coincide with the public interest in a nation of investors. It is curious, then, that the AFL-CIO has now gone to court in an attempt to forestall the same financial transparency regarding its stewardship of member dues that the labor federation demands for public corporations.
Last week the AFL-CIO sued the federal government in an effort to block revision of Labor Department rules concerning disclosure of union spending. For more than 40 years, unions have been required to file summary disclosures on what is known as form LM-2. Under rules set to take effect Jan. 1, regional and local unions with incomes greater than $250,000 … Read More ➡
Officials of the Wash. Educ. Assn. (WEA) have conspired with Bellevue School Dist. officials to prevent Seattle Times reporters from seeing files on teachers and coaches accused of sexual misconduct. Union officials even hosted “building file” parties, in which teachers could remove discipline records from their personnel files. The Times had not expected this fight when they asked the state’s 10 largest school districts for public information on sexual misconduct complaints against teachers and coaches last Dec. The state Sup. Ct. had ruled in 1990 that opening such records did not violate the teachers’ privacy.
Some districts released the information. But Bellevue asst. superintendent Sharon Howard responded quite differently. “I’d be delighted if we could share as little as possible” with the Times, she wrote in an email to the WEA’s general counsel. “The best course of action was to work with the … Read More ➡
Debra Lewis has begun serving a 3-yr. prison term for embezzling $521,000 from the Mich. Nurses Assn. At her October sentencing in the U.S. Dist. Ct. in Kalamazoo, Lewis was also ordered to repay the funds she stole during her 18 yrs. with the union. While recovering most of its losses through insurance, the union has still sued Lewis and her husband, Lloyd, in the Ingham County Circ. Ct., claiming that the two spent the funds on home improvements and other items. The union is seeking monetary damages.
Union spokeswoman Carol Feuss also says that the union is tying to improve its accounting procedures to ensure that such theft does not happen again. According to its 2001 LM-2 disclosure form filed with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, an audit failed to uncover the embezzlement. Lewis’s theft was finally uncovered last Feb. during … Read More ➡
In 1998, GM officials knew that two men whom Pontiac union officials demanded be hired as skilled workers at their main factory “were not qualified.” Nonetheless, GM hired the two relatives of United Auto Wrkrs. Local 594 officials to end a strike. And all mention of the two hires in the contract was covered up before it was submitted to the local membership for ratification. These and other documents were released by attny. Harold Dunne on Dec. 11 to back up his charge that GM and Local 594 officials engaged in nepotism to ensure labor peace in GM’s Pontiac factories in the 1990s.
Dunne released his collections of GM correspondence and union documents after two legal setbacks. In Sept., Dunne’s civil lawsuit representing 21 workers was dismissed in federal court, supposedly because it was filed outside the statute of limitations. On Oct. 21, U.S. … Read More ➡
The former finance director for the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association (MTA) has pleaded guilty to charges he stole $802,000 from the union over a six-year period, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced on Dec. 19. Richard Anzivino, 49, of Needham, pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Superior Court to five counts of larceny over $250 and six counts of making a false entry in a corporate book. Judge Carol Ball sentenced Anzivino to two years in the House of Correction with one year to serve and the balance suspended for five years with probation. The sentence was stayed until January 2.
The investigation found that over a six-year period between 1996 and September 2002, Anzivino stole $802,000 from the MTA. He accomplished the larceny by writing approximately 270 checks to himself which he cashed or deposited into his personal checking accounts. Anzivino wrote the checks for amounts at or … Read More ➡
On December 9, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Eastern Dist. of La., James Robinson, frmr. president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101, pled guilty to a one count information charging him with failing to maintain union records. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the New Orleans District Office of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards. [OLMS, 12/18/03]
Ex-Bookkeeper Sentenced for Embezzlement in NJ Federal Court
On December 4, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Percella Roper, former bookkeeper for Transport Workers (TWU) Local 234, was sentenced to six months home confinement and five years probation for embezzlement and aiding and abetting. She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $98,132 which will come from her union pension, including a $20,000 payment to be received by the court within five days of the sentencing. … Read More ➡
As Ullico Bd. members continued to cover up a report on their insider deals in the union-owned company’s falling stock, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney resigned from the Bd. on Dec. 2. He claimed that he could not “adequately fulfill my obligations to Ullico” and to the union members whose pension funds largely finance the insurance company.
Sweeney, however, did not explain why he failed to publicly oppose the scheme in which Ullico directors were allowed to buy Ullico stock “low” in late 1999, knowing that its value would be readjusted upward in 2000. Ullico’s stock was highly leveraged on Global Crossing, which rose with the telecom bubble, then deflated in 2000 and 2001. But in both years, Ullico directors were able to sell back their Ullico stock “high,” before its price was lowered to reflect the falling
value of Global Crossing. Because only small shareholders could participate in the deals, … Read More ➡