On June 1, Keith Franzese, former president of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 275, entered an Alford plea in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Md. to one count of theft in an amount of $67,624 from the Greenbelt, Md.-based union. He had been indicted on multiple counts last November for thefts of a substantially greater sum. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not formally admit to have committed the offense but admits that the evidence is sufficient for a conviction. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On May 29, Charles Webster, former president of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 284, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with one count of failing to properly maintain financial records of the Longview-based union. He then pleaded guilty. GMP Local 284 recently reaffiliated itself with the United Steelworkers. The actions follow a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On May 29, Christopher Mulhall, former secretary-treasurer of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 264, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and embezzlement from the Hampton union in the amount of $57,310. He had been charged on May 11. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Michael Brown might not have been a player in the Chrysler-United Auto Workers pay-for-play scandal that broke wide open last summer, but he was a knowledgeable spectator all the same. And that didn’t sit well with the feds. On May 25, Brown, formerly Fiat Chrysler’s director of employee relations, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of misprision of a felony in connection with the bribing by Chrysler management of several UAW officials with money and other things of value to drop certain issues during collective bargaining sessions a few years ago. Five other people have pleaded guilty so far. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Brown was aware that certain Fiat Chrysler executives had made or authorized payments to … Read More ➡
On May 22, Roger Harris, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3048, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California with one count of wire fraud in the amount of $36,150 against the union, which represents employees of Lompoc federal prison. The indictment follows a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, and the Office of Inspector General for each of the Justice Department and the Treasury Department.… Read More ➡
On May 21, Latasha Wilson, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1969, was sentenced in Ramsey County (Minn.) District Court to 20 years of probation and 100 hours of community service for theft of more than $35,000 in funds from the Minneapolis union, which represents employees at the VA hospital in that city. Wilson had pleaded guilty in March after being charged last October of stealing $58,150 during January 2013-December 2015. Although Minneapolis is in Hennepin County, the offenses occurred in neighboring Ramsey County. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
For several years Roland Bedwell was about last person in the world that New York City-area public works contractors wanted to see, especially if they wanted to do their own hiring. He’s now officially out of commission. On May 18, Bedwell, business manager for the Roslyn Heights (Long Island), N.Y.-based United Plant and Production Workers Local 175, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for extortion of a business owner, one of many several such crimes he masterminded while as a union leader. Bedwell had pleaded guilty last August. The actions follow an investigation by the FBI, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and the NYPD.
Apparently, theft was more widespread at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8 than some had thought. On May 24, Adam Conheeny, former treasurer of the Newport-based union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island to fraudulently converting more than $30,000 in local funds to his own use. The case is a consequence of the probe of former Lodge 8 president Christopher Hayes, who was sentenced last July in federal court for stealing more than $70,000 from the union. The Conheeny case, like that of Hayes, follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Rhode Island State Police.
According to prosecutors, Conheeny, now 46, a resident of Portsmouth, R.I., and a former Newport police officer, during August 2009-December 2014 used his union debit card to cover personal expenses, wrote union checks payable to himself, and … Read More ➡
Counting votes shouldn’t be a tall order for a union, even for the highly reluctant United Farm Workers. But the union now must change its ways. Last Wednesday, May 30, a California appeals court ruled 3-0 that the state’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board must count votes cast in 2013 by employees of a large grower, Gerawan Farming Co., over whether to decertify the union as its bargaining agent. The “nonpartisan” ALRB, the UFW’s de facto partner, had impounded the ballots. According to the court, the board’s allegations of unfair labor practices by Gerawan were “unsupported by the record as a whole.” The UFW vows to appeal the case to the State Supreme Court while continuing to collect dues payments and giving back nothing in return.
When it comes to using the political system to protect and expand economic turf, the United Farm Workers has few rivals in organized labor. The … Read More ➡
Employers have a right to insist that employees limit the amount of time they may devote to conducting union business during work hours. President Trump thinks this principle should apply to the unions that represent people who work in federal agencies. Last Friday, May 25, Trump issued an executive order designed to curtail on-the-job union activity. Federal employees now may spend no more than 25 percent of a work day on such matters. Administration officials estimate the move will save taxpayers at least $100 million a year. The executive order was one of three issued that day to improve accountability within the civil service bureaucracy. Federal employee unions and their allies on Capitol Hill, predictably, are outraged.
National Legal and Policy Center more than once has examined the issue of federal employees collecting pay while on union or “official” time. Back in December 2012, this became a leading issue for … Read More ➡