Steelworkers President in Oklahoma Charged with Embezzlement

On March 25, Thomas Burkhart, former president of United Steelworkers Local 145, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma with one count of embezzling funds from the Sapulpa (near Tulsa)-based union in the sum of $19,900. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFL-CIO Detroit Branch Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement

Cathy Long had an impressive skill set.  Unfortunately for her those skills were illegal. On March 12, Long, former treasurer of the Metro Detroit Branch of the AFL-CIO and the Laborers International Hall of Fame (LIHOF), was charged in Wayne County (Mich.) District Court with stealing a combined nearly $50,000 from the two organizations over a more than three-year period. An internal review in July 2018 of financial records had uncovered a series of unauthorized payments. She was charged with two counts of embezzlement, three counts of uttering and publishing, using a computer to commit a crime, and larceny. Long pleaded not guilty at her court arraignment. The evidence suggests she would do well to change her plea.

According to prosecutors, Long, now 61, a resident of Detroit, during March 2015-July 2018 falsified a computerized accounting program, forging the names of authorized signers on checks and “manufacturing documents to give … Read More ➡

New Orleans-Area UFCW President Sentenced for Embezzlement

On March 30, Mark Douglas, former president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1101, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Arabi (near New Orleans) union. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the union in the sum of $7,078.35 and a special assessment of $100. According to prosecutors, Douglas, now 72, a resident of New Orleans, during November 2011-January 2015 had filed fake reimbursement claims for “lost time.” He eventually was charged in April 2019, and pleaded guilty that September. UFCW Local 1101 represents employees of the Domino Sugar Company. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  … Read More ➡

Firefighters Ex-President in Missouri Arrested for Embezzlement

Given his situation, Scott Peterson didn’t have any other option. So, he admitted what he did and resigned. On February 19, Peterson, formerly treasurer and then president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2945, was arrested by Callaway County (Mo.) sheriff’s deputies for embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the Fulton-based union. The prosecutor’s office in neighboring Boone County, Mo. filed a felony charge on February 24. Peterson already had admitted to his thefts. He resigned as union president during an internal investigation and then resigned from his regular job with the City of Fulton fire department following his arrest. He is set for arraignment this Friday.

According to court records, Peterson, now 47, a resident of Fulton, had been facing financial difficulties and turned to stealing. He admitted to conducting 130 fraudulent transactions totaling $22,622.47. The true total may have been more. Union officials told the Callaway … Read More ➡

Pentagon Security Officers Chieftain Pleads Guilty to Massive Embezzlement

Arthur Penn represented Defense Department security employees. Under his control, however, the funds were less than secure. On March 25, Penn, formerly chairman of the Defense Protective Service Labor Committee Pentagon, an affiliate of the Fraternal Order of Police, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of wire fraud in connection with his embezzlement of approximately $384,000 from the Arlington, Va.-based union. He had been charged last November after a grand jury had indicted him on seven counts of wire fraud. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 2.

Penn, now 64, during 1999-2015 served as chairman of his union, which represents employees of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. For much of this time, prosecutors alleged, Penn embezzled funds for unauthorized personal activities that … Read More ➡

Postal Workers Secretary in Oklahoma Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

It took more than eight years to discover that Brenda Walters was making off with the money. That’s better late than never. On March 24, Walters, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union, Muskogee Area Local 7, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to one count of embezzling about $95,100 from the Muskogee union. According to prosecutors, Walters, now 60, a resident of nearby Haskell, during the period January 2012-July 2020 or thereabouts, had converted union funds to her personal use without authorization. She faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. … Read More ➡

BLET Secretary in Southern California Charged with Embezzlement

On March 12, Stephen Rooze, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 662, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on four counts of embezzling $140,064 in funds from the Burbank-based union. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Chicago-Area UAW Shop Chairman Pleads Guilty to Forgery; Sentenced

On March 5, Milton Thomas, former shop chairman of United Auto Workers Local 890, pleaded guilty in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court to one count of forgery in an amount of between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Morton Grove union. Thomas allegedly had made out unauthorized checks to himself and then forged disbursement vouchers to give the appearance of the checks going for legitimate business purposes. Immediately after, he was sentenced to two years of probation, and ordered to pay a $75 fine and submit to DNA indexing. Thomas had been indicted in March 2018 following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

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Teacher Unions Continue to Thwart School Re-Openings, Demand Money

In the ongoing effort to isolate people from the COVID-19 virus, students arguably have suffered the greatest consequences. Teacher unions have had much to do with this situation. Across the nation, especially in and around cities, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have been aggressively resisting back-to-work orders. To the extent that schools are reopening, taxpayers are paying a premium. Tucked away in the new $1.9 trillion “stimulus” bill passed by Congress on March 10 and signed the next day by President Biden, the third such legislation in a little under a year, is more than $125 billion for reopening K-12 schools and colleges to full capacity. In light of a recent sharp drop in new cases, not to mention the relative immunity among youth, these subsidies more than anything else seem to be reciprocation for union political donations.  

COVID-19, or coronavirus, originated in mainland … Read More ➡

Western Michigan UAW Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On March 10, Brian Rittenhouse, former financial secretary of United Auto Workers Local 1320, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one count of embezzlement from the Grandville (near Grand Rapids)-based union. He had been indicted for embezzlement and false record-keeping in January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡