Long Island Teamster Official Sentenced for Bribe-Taking

John Ulrich collected a high price for doing favors. Now he’s paying a high price. On July 22, Ulrich, ex-vice president and recording secretary of the Great Neck (Long Island), N.Y.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 18 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, for soliciting and receiving bribes from a union health plan administrator in return for retaining his services. He also was ordered to forfeit $55,000 in personal assets and pay restitution of a sum to be determined later. Ulrich had pleaded guilty in December 2019 following his indictment that February. The actions follow a probe by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Teamsters Local 812 represents about 3,000 beverage industry workers in the New York City metropolitan area. Its generous … Read More ➡

Janus, Two Years On: More Necessary Than Ever

This June 27 marked the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a pivotal event in labor relations whose potential long-run impact is only beginning to be felt. The High Court’s upholding by a 5-4 margin of the constitutional right of Mark Janus (in photo), an Illinois state civil servant, to withhold dues from an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has enabled numerous nonmembers across a wide range of public-sector jobs to decline to pay without worrying about losing their jobs. In response, unions and their political allies are going to great lengths to circumvent the ruling. They know what is at stake. Their actions unintentionally underscore why the Court made the right call. And Mark Janus isn’t quite done yet.  

Government employee unions, especially at the state and local levels, have become a dominant force … Read More ➡

Maryland Security Union President Pleads Guilty to Thefts

Sandra King had bills to pay. She resolved the problem in an all too common way: stealing. Two days ago, July 21, King, former president of the Federation of Police & Security and current president of the Alliance of Independent Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to embezzling a combined more than $57,000 from the Owings Mills (suburban Baltimore) Md.-based unions. As part of the plea deal, she will have to make full restitution. She had been charged in an information count this past June following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

If nothing else, Sandra King was a busy woman. During October 2014-September 2019, she headed the Federation of Police & Security, which represents private security guards in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md. In addition, since 2014 she has served as president of the Alliance of Independent Workers, … Read More ➡

Wife, Daughter of Inland Empire Independent Union Boss Sentenced for Thefts

The Romero family saga continues to wind down. On July 6, Evelyn Romero, ex-wife of John S. Romero, convicted former president of the United Industrial and Service Workers of America, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to eight months of home confinement and two years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in a sum yet determined, for her role in a conspiracy to fleece the Colton (San Bernardino County) Calif. union, mostly its health plan, out of roughly $900,000. A week earlier, on June 29, their daughter, Danae Romero, was sentenced to six months of electronic monitoring and two years of probation, and ordered to pay undetermined restitution, for her role in the schemes. They had pleaded guilty, respectively, in June 2018 and March 2017 following a multi-agency Labor Department probe.

Union Corruption Update has described this case several times since the handing … Read More ➡

LIUNA Business Manager in West Virginia Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For Rick Drain, old habits die hard. And the consequences this time may include a stretch in prison. Last Monday, July 13, Drain, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1085, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of embezzling $50,281 in funds from the Parkersburg-based union, which represents several hundred area construction and public service workers. He had been charged in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing this October.

According to prosecutors, Drain, now 56, a resident of Vienna (Wood County), W.Va., used his position as local business manager to divert member dues and other fees into his own pockets. He apparently had a history of this sort of thing. Back in 2009, he and the local were named … Read More ➡

UAW Official in Ohio Pleads to Embezzlement and Concealment

On July 15, Douglas Dye, former unit chairman of United Auto Workers Local 12, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzling $8,443 in funds from the Toledo union and one count of falsifying union financial records to conceal the thefts. The alleged offenses occurred during June 2013-April 2016. Dye had been indicted this January. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Postal Workers President in Kansas Sentenced for Record-Keeping Fraud

On July 16, Asenath Roland, former president of the Kansas Postal Workers Union, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,740 in restitution for concealing his embezzlement of funds from the Wichita-based union. He had pleaded guilty in February after being indicted last July. The union is an affiliate of the American Postal Workers Union. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Transit Union Joins Black Lives Matter Strike; Undermines Mission

The social media-driven network of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter these past several weeks has enjoyed a groundswell of support among organized labor. A case in point is the Amalgamated Transit Union. The 200,000-member union is playing a key role in a nationwide protest today against “systemic” racism. “The ATU proudly stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are Striking for Black Lives on July 20,” said International President John Costa. “We must dismantle the racist policies that target our communities to ensure all workers are healthy, safe and secure no matter their race, immigration status, gender, job or where they live.” This overheated and cliched declaration underscores how unions are using member dues to subvert their duties of representation. And the ATU isn’t the only guilty party.

Today’s multi-city “Strike for Black Lives” is a joint project of civil rights and labor leaders, especially those affiliated … Read More ➡

Machinists Secretary in Illinois Sentenced for Concealment

On July 8, Amber Blake, former secretary-treasurer for International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 124, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to three years of probation for making a false entry in union financial records in order to conceal her theft from the Channahon (near Joliet) union. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the sum of $34,159 ($15,000 of it due by this September 11) and a $5,000 fine. Blake had pleaded guilty in December after being charged the previous month. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.   … Read More ➡

NYC Police Union President, Treasurer Charged in $500K+ Benefit Scam

Police unions have been receiving much criticism these past couple months, and two trustees of a New York City union benefit plan haven’t helped matters. Three days ago, July 13, Kenneth Wynder Jr., president of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association (LEEBA), was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with defrauding the LEEBA annuity fund of more than $500,000 following his arrest. Separately, LEEBA Treasurer Steven Whittick was charged with obstruction and making false statements in the case. Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss explained, “Today we have charged two leaders of a union that represents local law enforcement officers for engaging in criminal conduct.” The charges follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Labor Department and the City Comptroller’s Office.  

At the beginning of this month, Union Corruption Update analyzed the lengths to which police unions often go … Read More ➡