Glenn Blicht sold out his union for a price. Now he’s on the verge of paying a different kind of price. On October 16, Justice Department officials announced that Blicht, former president of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 164, had pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court two days earlier to demanding and accepting about $150,000 in bribes over several years from a representative of an employer in exchange for the union backing away from filing arbitration complaints against the company. He had been arrested and charged in July. As part of the plea deal, Blicht must forfeit $150,000 and pay restitution. He faces up to five years in prison. The employer representative already had pleaded guilty. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
On December 11, John Scarcella, former secretary-treasurer of Association of Civilian Technicians Local 125, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Baltimore County, Maryland to theft of $28,010 in funds from the Middle River, Md.-based union. He then was sentenced to 18 months in jail (suspended) and three years of unsupervised probation, and was ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $22,760. Scarcella had been charged in May following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
An employer’s email system is as much private property as its computer equipment or real estate. The National Labor Relations Board once again, if belatedly, has affirmed this fact. On December 16, the board in Caesars Entertainment voted 3-1 to reestablish the right of an employer to restrict employee use of company email and other information technology during nonworking hours. The ruling overturns the board’s Obama-era ruling in Purple Communications, which had concluded employees have a statutory right to use employer email for union purposes. Employer groups see the decision as vindication of property rights, free speech rights, and especially cyber security. Union officials and supporters, understandably, are taking a different view.
With email having become established at the workplace, it was inevitable that disputes would arise over its availability to promote unions. Employers generally hold that their email systems ought to be used for workplace issues that advance … Read More ➡
On December 5, Audonus Duplessis, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2463, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to 12 months and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised probation and 300 hours of community service, for transporting $11,300 worth of stolen funds from the Washington, D.C. union to a Virginia location for the purpose of buying a car. The total sum stolen, however, was in excess of $80,000. AFGE Local 2463 represents employees at the Smithsonian Institution. Duplessis had pleaded guilty last October after being indicted in June. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On December 5, Angel Luis Garcia, former financial secretary of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1614, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey with one count of embezzlement of $117,000 in funds from the Dover (Morris County), N.J.-based union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
John Ulrich might have called it payola, but prosecutors called it bribery. And evidence indicates they were right. On December 12, Ulrich, former vice president of the Great Neck (Long Island), N.Y.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812 and a trustee of its health plan, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from an official with the plan’s third-party contractor in return for ensuring the union’s retention of the company. Ulrich had been indicted last February following a joint investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration. Sentencing is set for April 23.
Teamsters Local 812 represents more than 3,000 soft drink and brewery production, bottling, delivery and auxiliary workers in the New York City metropolitan area. It also has a health benefit plan lucrative enough to attract … Read More ➡
On December 3, Andretta Davis, former office secretary for Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 148, was charged in Fulton County Superior Court for the State of Georgia with one count of theft and three counts of forgery from the Atlanta-based union. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On November 26, Jessica Pangburn, former office manager for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 953, waived an indictment and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico to one count of wire fraud against the Albuquerque union. The plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On November 20, Rocky Gannon, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2302, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on three counts of wire fraud and nine counts of securities forgery against the union, which represents civilian personnel at Fort Knox. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
On November 19, Kelly Carter, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 560, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to six months of home confinement, two years of probation and 200 hours of community service for embezzling funds from the Benton Harbor union. She previously had made restitution in the amount of $9,031. She had pleaded guilty in August following her indictment in June for stealing $7,130. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡