CWA Houston Local Employees Sentenced for Embezzlement

Beverly Davis and Evelyn Smith stole together. And now they’ve been sentenced together. On July 21, Davis and Smith, each a former employee of Communications Workers of America Local 6222, were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to three years of probation for their roles in an embezzlement scheme that netted them more than $135,000 during 2010-17 from the Houston union, which represents AT&T employees. In addition, Davis will have to pay $85,536.77 in restitution, while Smith will have to pay $50,967.76. Grand total: $136,504.53. The pair had pleaded guilty last December following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

AFSCME Local in California Forges Worker’s Signature, Wins Court Dismissal

It is now settled law that public employees cannot be forced to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3930 and the State of California don’t seem convinced. Neither does a federal judge. On June 15, a U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rebuked an Orange County home care provider, Maria Quezambra, in her quest to recoup dues collected by the union via the State of California over six years despite clear evidence that someone at the union had forged her signature to establish membership. A week later, she filed an appeal. The larger issue, in light of the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, is the corrupt practice of government agencies allying themselves with the very unions with whom they bargain.     

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision was … Read More ➡

Ex-AFGE President in Louisiana Charged with Forgery

On July 30, Matthew Cuomo, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1047, was charged with one count of forgery in the amount of $500 against the Kenner, La.-based union, which represents Transportation Security Administration employees. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Former Plumbers Employee in Texas Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On July 22, Karen Pierce, former employee of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 142, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to one count of embezzling funds from the San Antonio-based union in an unspecified amount. She had been indicted on eight counts in February 2019. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Long Island Teamster Official Sentenced for Bribe-Taking

John Ulrich exacted a high price for his favors. Now he’s paying a high price. On July 22, Ulrich, ex-vice president and recording secretary of the Great Neck (Long Island), N.Y.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 18 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, for soliciting and receiving bribes from a union health plan administrator in return for retaining that person’s services. He also was ordered to forfeit $55,000 in personal assets and pay restitution in a sum to be determined later. Ulrich had pleaded guilty in December 2019 following his indictment that February. The actions follow a probe by the FBI and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Teamsters Local 812 represents about 3,000 beverage industry workers in the New York City metropolitan area. Its … Read More ➡

Janus, Two Years On: More Necessary Than Ever

This June 27 marked the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a pivotal event in labor relations whose potential long-run impact is only beginning to be felt. The High Court’s upholding by a 5-4 margin of the constitutional right of Mark Janus (in photo), an Illinois state civil servant, to withhold dues from an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has enabled numerous nonmembers across a wide range of public-sector jobs to decline to pay without worrying about losing their jobs. In response, unions and their political allies are going to great lengths to circumvent the ruling. They know what is at stake. Their actions unintentionally underscore why the Court made the right call. And Mark Janus isn’t quite done yet.  

Government employee unions, especially at the state and local levels, have become a dominant force … Read More ➡

Maryland Security Union President Pleads Guilty to Thefts

Sandra King had bills to pay. She resolved the problem in an all too common way: stealing. Two days ago, July 21, King, former president of the Federation of Police & Security and current president of the Alliance of Independent Workers, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to embezzling a combined sum of more than $57,000 from the Owings Mills (suburban Baltimore), Md.-based unions. As part of the plea deal, she will have to make full restitution. She had been charged in an information count this past June following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

If nothing else, Sandra King was a busy woman. During October 2014-September 2019, she headed the Federation of Police & Security, which represents private security guards in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md. In addition, since 2014 she served as president of the Alliance of Independent … Read More ➡

Wife, Daughter of Inland Empire Independent Union Boss Sentenced for Thefts

The Romero family saga continues to wind down. On July 6, Evelyn Romero, ex-wife of John S. Romero, convicted former president of the United Industrial and Service Workers of America, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to eight months of home confinement and two years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in a sum yet determined, for her role in a conspiracy to fleece the Colton (San Bernardino County) Calif. union, mostly its health plan, out of roughly $900,000. A week earlier, on June 29, their daughter, Danae Romero, was sentenced to six months of electronic monitoring and two years of probation, and ordered to pay undetermined restitution, for her role in the schemes. They had pleaded guilty, respectively, in June 2018 and March 2017 following a multi-agency Labor Department probe.

Union Corruption Update has described this case several times since the handing … Read More ➡

LIUNA Business Manager in West Virginia Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For Rick Drain, old habits die hard. And the consequences this time may include a stretch in prison. Last Monday, July 13, Drain, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 1085, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to one count of embezzling $50,281 in funds from the Parkersburg-based union, which represents several hundred area construction and public service workers. He had been charged in March following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing this October.

According to prosecutors, Drain, now 56, a resident of Vienna (Wood County), W.Va., used his position as local business manager to divert member dues and other fees into his own pockets. He apparently had a history of this sort of thing. Back in 2009, he and the local were named … Read More ➡

UAW Official in Ohio Pleads to Embezzlement and Concealment

On July 15, Douglas Dye, former unit chairman of United Auto Workers Local 12, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to one count of embezzling $8,443 in funds from the Toledo union and one count of falsifying union financial records to conceal the thefts. The alleged offenses occurred during June 2013-April 2016. Dye had been indicted this January. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡