Tennessee Steelworkers Local Secretary-Treasurer Sentenced

On September 15, Travis Cofer, former secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 990, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to two years of probation for embezzling $12,432 in funds from the Maryville (near Knoxville) union. He also was ordered to pay $9,608 in restitution on top of the $2,824 he already had paid, plus a $100 special assessment. Cofer pleaded guilty this past January following his indictment in September 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Federal Judge Guts DOL Joint Employer Rule; Unions Cheer

Should a company be liable for negotiating a collective bargaining agreement alongside one of its contractors or franchisees even if it doesn’t set any workplace rules? U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York thinks it should. On September 8, Judge Woods struck down a key portion of a rule change finalized in January by the Department of Labor that narrowed the circumstances for assigning an employer ‘joint’ or ‘dual’ status and thus forcing it to collectively bargain. The DOL rule, he concluded, contravened the Fair Labor Standards Act, and was “arbitrary and capricious.” Attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia had filed suit in late February to enjoin enforcement. As a result of the decision, unions have a far wider basis for suing an employer for unfair labor practices.

Union Corruption Update has covered this deceptively crucial issue several times (see hereRead More ➡

Local NSO Treasurer in Texas Charged with Embezzlement

On August 21, Harold Weatherford, former treasurer of National Staff Organization (NSO), Professional Staff Association, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with embezzling $82,560 in funds from the Tomball (Houston metro area) union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

SMART Treasurer in Southern California Charged with Embezzlement

On September 8, Rachel Gleason, former treasurer of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union (SMART) Local 1700, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California with one count of embezzling funds in an unspecified sum from the Perris (Riverside County)-based union. The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Upstate New York Steelworkers Secretary Sentenced for Theft

At least Brian Arnold won’t have to serve any prison time. Last Thursday, September 10, Arnold, former financial secretary of United Steelworkers Local 104M, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to two years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for embezzling $33,224.15 from the Elmira-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. The local represents employees at Anchor Glass Container Corporation. Arnold had pleaded guilty this June after being charged last October with embezzlement and concealment. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Arnold, now 49, a resident of Pine City, N.Y., during April 2016-August 2018 made unauthorized purchases with the union’s debit card, ATM withdrawals from its checking account, and checks to himself from the checking account. All stolen funds went for his personal use. Given that he … Read More ➡

Letter Carriers Treasurer in Michigan Charged with Embezzlement

On August 31, Kathryn Connelly, former president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 707, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan with one count of embezzlement from the Sault Ste. Marie union in the sum of $10,323. The charge follows a joint investigation 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 ➡

Former UAW Treasurer in Michigan Sentenced for Theft

On August 27, Larissa Iveson, daughter of a former treasurer of United Auto Workers Local 373, was sentenced in the 12th Judicial District Court of Jackson County, Michigan to two years of probation for theft in an unspecified amount from the Litchfield-based local. She had pleaded guilty in May. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFGE President in California Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

On August 17, Roger Harris, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3048, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of wire fraud in the amount of $36,150 after being charged in May 2018. The union represents employees of Lompoc federal prison. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. 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 ➡

Letter Carriers Secretary in Georgia Sentenced for Embezzlement

On August 13, Janet Pilcher, former secretary-treasurer of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 536, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to 30 days in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Rome, Ga.-based union. She also was ordered to pay $45,934 in restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Pilcher had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in February to embezzling $65,033 during October 2014-March 2018. She already has repaid $20,595. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Hawaii Crime Boss Busted for Racketeering, Murder; Infiltrated Teamster Local

Organized crime has been a dominant if often hidden reality in Hawaii for decades. But at least for now one of its most violent sociopaths is out of commission. On July 15, Michael Miske Jr., was arrested at his oceanfront home in Kailua, Oahu Island and charged in Honolulu federal court, along with 10 other men, with numerous criminal charges including murder, racketeering, kidnapping, arson, robbery and money-laundering. Significantly, his empire involved, if perhaps inadvertantly, a Teamsters local. Prosecutors termed Miske “the unquestioned leader of a racketeering enterprise” which “routinely committed violent crimes and assaults, and used threats and intimidation to protect (its) illegal activities.” He pleaded not guilty to all charges. A month later, on August 11, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield ordered Miske held without bail, terming him a flight risk and a threat to the community.

Welcome to the “other” Hawaii. Behind the beautiful beaches, lush … Read More ➡