There was one unfinished piece of business after Fiat Chrysler and French auto giant PSA had merged. And it was an expensive piece. On January 27, the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker announced that it would plead guilty in Detroit federal court to conspiring to bribe officials of the United Auto Workers with millions of dollars in cash and gifts via its worker training center to discourage the union from raising demands during collective bargaining. The company also agreed to pay a $30 million fine and undergo three years of probation. At least eight persons were convicted in this scandal since the initial indictments of July 2017. Prosecutors had charged Fiat Chrysler earlier that day. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Last month was momentous for the auto industry. On January … Read More ➡
On February 1, John Sammons, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1872, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to three years of supervised probation, including six months of home detention, for stealing funds from the union. He also was ordered to pay a $5,500 fine on top of the $17,261 in restitution he already has paid. Sammons had used his position to receive false travel reimbursements. He had pleaded guilty to one count of theft in February 2020 after being indicted on five counts of mail fraud and one count of theft the previous July. AFGE Local 1872 represents about 150 to 200 civilian employees at Shaw Air Force Base. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On February 11, Kathryn Connelly, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 707, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one year of probation, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment, for embezzling $10,323 in funds from Sault Ste. Marie-based union. She already has paid full restitution. Connelly had pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in September following a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General. … Read More ➡
On January 29, Edward Davis Jr., former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 620, was sentenced to six months of home confinement and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Fort Worth-based union in the sum of $61,386. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. Davis had pleaded guilty immediately after being charged last September. According to investigators, Davis wrote 86 unauthorized union checks to himself. BLET Division 620 represents about 130 locomotive engineers employed by Union Pacific Railroad. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
James Cahill, former president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, used to carry a lot of clout. But since his October 1 indictment for solicitation of bribery, and the indictment of 10 other union officials, things have grown darker. Late in December, in a new filing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York alleged that Cahill has “extensive ties to organized crime,” citing his frequent meetings with La Cosa Nostra and Serbian mobsters. His lawyer, Sam Talkin, disputes the allegation: “Mr. Cahill does not have any ties to organized crime. The government cites ancient anecdotes and contradictory information in support of their claim.” Yet the evidence is convincing. And it might be connected to a wave of guilty pleas last month by 11 Gambino crime family members and associates in a separate case.
John Sweeney stood at the left end of American unionism. And for 14 years, he stood atop that world, radicalizing organized labor and America in the process – and not for the better. On February 1, Sweeney, who served as AFL-CIO president during 1995-2009, died of natural causes at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 86. His successor, current AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, lamented: “John was a great leader and a true innovator, driving the labor movement forward. We stand on that foundation today as we take on the challenges of inequality, systemic racism and much more.” Such praise embodies what has gone wrong with union leadership. By pouring vast sums of time and money into the coffers of the Democratic Party, and its allied political action committees and nonprofit groups, he moved the needle of American politics well to the left.
On January 27, Edward “Nick” Robinson, former president of the Midwest Community Action Program (CAP) Council of the United Auto Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one year in prison and one year of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy to embezzle about $1.5 million in union funds and avoid federal taxes based on that income. He also was ordered to pay a combined $342,000 to the UAW and the IRS. Robinson, along with several other union officials including now-convicted former International Presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, submitted vouchers for nonexistent expenses and wrote fraudulent checks to divert funds from the council. He had pleaded in guilty in March 2020. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡
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. … Read More ➡
For Donald Dougherty, the old habits wouldn’t go away. That’s why he’s likely to go to prison. On January 21, Dougherty, a Philadelphia-based electrical contractor, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count each of tax fraud and theft related to his work with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98. Several members of that Philadelphia union were indicted by a grand jury two years ago. Dougherty and an accountant for his firm, Michael McKale, were indicted separately this past November 25 on multiple fraud and theft charges. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Office of Inspector General.
Donald “Gus” Dougherty, now 54, a resident of Philadelphia, no relation to indicted IBEW Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty, is the longtime owner-operator of Dougherty … Read More ➡
When Joe Biden campaigned for president, he vowed to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” He wasn’t kidding. His nominee for labor secretary, Marty Walsh, once headed a union himself. And for these past seven years, as mayor of Boston, he has displayed a tendency to look past criminal activity by certain local unions. Moreover, since his January 7 nomination, evidence has emerged that he diverted over a million dollars over the years from his campaign coffers to a boutique consulting firm for which his girlfriend works. The payments recently have risen to nearly $15,000 a month, accounting for over half of the company’s revenues. Such behavior suggests serious conflicts of interest, an issue that needs to be addressed at Senate confirmation hearings.
Marty Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in 1967 and raised in the Dorchester section of Boston. Politically, he is … Read More ➡