An ample salary wasn’t enough for Rodney Capello. On July 15, Capello, former business manager and secretary-treasurer of Hawaii Electrical Workers Division of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 722, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii with embezzling nearly $200,000 in funds from the Honolulu-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Capello’s annual salary in recent years had exceeded $200,000. But he wanted more, and apparently didn’t have to look far to find it. According to prosecutors, Capello, from around February 2013 to around March 2016, “did knowingly embezzle and convert to his own use monies and funds of the Union in the approximate amount of $184,771.98.” As such, prosecutors plan to seek restitution of defendant assets in the event of a conviction. The union since has been placed under trusteeship by LIUNA headquarters … Read More ➡
On July 19, Esper Alexander, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 1111, pleaded guilty in Wayne County (Michigan) District Court to one count of larceny by conversion of funds from the Detroit-based union in a sum of at least $200 but less than $1,000. The plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
If you wanted to get into the union, Salvatore Tagliaferro or John Defalco could help you for a price. It appears now that the two will pay more than they collected. On June 27, Tagliaferro and Defalco, respectively, president of Local 926 (Brooklyn) and vice president of Local 157 (Manhattan) of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, were arrested and indicted in Manhattan federal court on various charges related to their roles in a scheme to solicit and receive cash bribes in return for admission to the union for aspiring members. The defendants allegedly generated tens of thousands of dollars for themselves in this manner. The charges follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the New York City Department of Investigation.
According to charging documents, Salvatore “Sal” Tagliaferro, now 54, a resident of Staten Island, N.Y., and John … Read More ➡
On June 19, Kelly Carter, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 560, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on one count of embezzling $7,130 in funds from the Benton Harbor union. The charge follows a joint probe 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 ➡
Pressuring employees into giving a union permission to deduct dues from paychecks is a common practice. This “dues checkoff,” however, soon may become uncommon. On July 12, the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel, in separate cases, announced that it had ruled on behalf of two workers who refused to sign dues authorization forms as a condition of employment. The employees, Kacy Warner, a Kansas City-area nurse, and Shelby Krocker, a West Virginia supermarket employee, each experienced union retaliation. Their cases previously had been dismissed by an NLRB regional office. The West Virginia case is especially disturbing because the legislature in that state a few years ago enacted a Right to Work law barring unions from exacting such payments.
Kacy Warner is a nurse at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri who was dissatisfied with the representation that she and fellow employees had been getting from … Read More ➡
All those years of being honest didn’t pay well enough for Dennis Robertson. His year and a half of being dishonest, however, will cost him a lot more than it was worth. On June 25, Robertson, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 668, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to embezzling almost $38,000 from the Hooksett (Merrimack County), N.H.-based union. Although the charging documents referred to the labor organization as simply a “local union,” an online search by the Manchester Union Leader determined that this union was LIUNA Local 668. Sentencing is set for October 1. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to court records, Robertson, now 43, a resident of Hooksett, served as local business manager for about 14 years until his dismissal in March 2017. He was … Read More ➡
It takes no great insight to recognize there is a rapidly worsening security crisis along our southern border. Remarkably, a union representing the federal employees who handle this crisis is enabling it. Last Wednesday, American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924 filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco in support of a lawsuit to block enforcement of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Since its launch in January, the program by the end of June had temporarily returned to Mexico more than 15,000 asylum seekers who had been detained at U.S. ports of entry. MPP, reads the complaint, is “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation.” Such high-minded rhetoric ignores the fact that these migrants attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the many photos of “caravans” of thousands … Read More ➡
On June 12, Jennifer Conway, former vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 727D, was charged in Dunn County, Wisconsin Circuit Court with one count of misdemeanor theft in the sum of $250. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
If Terry Doan had been willing to play by the rules of his predecessors, he probably wouldn’t be in his current predicament. On June 6, Doan, formerly secretary-treasurer and trustee of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee of Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 84, was sentenced in Youngstown, Ohio federal court to one year in prison, to be followed by three years of probation, for thefts over a five-year period from the Kent-based union. He also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $195,446. Doan had been indicted last November, and pleaded guilty this February following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).
According to prosecutors, Doan, now in his early 60s, a resident of Deerfield (Portage County), Ohio, back in 2012 used his union positions to rescind a requirement that training fund checks above a certain amount have … Read More ➡
Linda Woodford admits she acted stupidly. She should have thought about that beforehand. On June 12, Woodford, former president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 727D, was charged in Dunn County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court with embezzling more than $4,000 from the Menomonie-based union, which represents nursing home employees. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Woodford, now 41, a resident of Glenwood City (St. Croix County), headed the union during December 2015-July 2017. According to prosecutors, she used the last few months of her tenure to steal $4,055.37 by writing more than two dozen unauthorized union checks either to herself or other people and by making one unauthorized cash withdrawal. In October 2018, more than a year after her dismissal, she admitted writing the checks. She emphasized that she “needed the money” and used the union checking account as … Read More ➡