NYC Carpenters Officials Charged in Union Admissions Bribery Scheme

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 ➡

Letter Carriers President in Michigan Charged with Embezzlement

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 ➡

NLRB General Counsel Rules on Behalf of Harassed Workers

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 ➡

LIUNA Business Manager in New Hampshire Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

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 ➡

Federal Employees Union Tries to Block Migrant Deportations

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 ➡

Local AFSCME Official in Wisconsin Charged with Theft

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 ➡

Heat & Frost Insulators Training Fund Official in Ohio Sentenced for Thefts

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 ➡

AFSCME President in Wisconsin Charged with Embezzlement

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 727, 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 ➡

Southern California Steelworkers Officials Plead Guilty; Sentenced

On June 3, Joan Dutton, former president of United Steelworkers Local 2801, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of concealment and destruction of financial records of the Signal Hill-based union in connection with thefts in the amount of nearly $16,000. She then was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $25 special assessment. Eight days later, on June 11, her co-defendant, local secretary-treasurer Tatia Clark, pleaded guilty to the same offenses, and received the same sentence. The pair allegedly had removed the records back in 2010 after the union announced a pending audit. In July 2016 they were charged in a four-count indictment. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Transportation Communications Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Pleads Guilty

On June 10, Bud Sherwood, former secretary-treasurer of Transportation Communications Union (TCU) Lodge 6546, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzlement of funds in the sum of $10,813 from the Bellevue (near Sandusky) union, which represents railroad and other transportation employees. TCU is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists. Sherwood had been charged last month following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡