Labor unions rarely skimp on salary and benefits, especially for those at the top. Yet for sheer audacity, few are the equal of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. An investigative report published this past Saturday in the Kansas City Star, a follow-up to an expose of several years ago, is an apt reminder. The author of each, Judy Thomas, plumbed publicly-available financial records of the union, concluding that officials and support staff have continued to indulge expensive tastes at members’ expense. National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Ken Boehm, quoted in the new article, had this to say: “This is so over the top. It really tells you that there aren’t the kinds of checks and balances that are supposed to be there.” A number of local affiliates aren’t so happy about this either.
When it comes to compensation for union office jobs, nobody does it quite like the International … Read More ➡
On March 29, Scot McNamara, former financial secretary for International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to four months of house arrest and two years of probation for embezzling $8,871 in funds from the St. Paul union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution, plus a $3,000 fine, a $100 special assessment and a $4,000 reimbursement to the Treasury Department for the cost of legal representation. McNamara pled guilty last December after being charged in July. Former local business manager Keith Christopherson also had been convicted of embezzlement in that case. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On March 29, William Dixon, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 2014, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia to two years of probation for embezzling funds from the Lebanon, Va.-based union. He also was ordered to pay $3,408 in restitution on top of the $930 he already paid. Dixon had pleaded guilty last December immediately following his being charged. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On March 27, Michael Schofield, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Local 1046, was sentenced to eight months in prison and one year of supervised release for making false entries in financial records of the Plainfield, Ill.-based union for the purpose of concealing unauthorized loans totaling $31,850. He also was ordered to pay $30,641 in restitution and a $25 fine. Schofield had filed an amended plea this January following a one-count information and an original plea last June. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
For more than two years, Edward Padilla used his union for personal spending. He’s now likely to spend time in prison. On March 27, Padilla, former secretary-treasurer and business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to one count of embezzlement in the sum of $168,780 from the Bakersfield construction union. As part of his plea, Padilla agreed to make full restitution. He had been charged on March 3. Sentencing is set for July 10. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to prosecutors, Padilla, now 56, a resident of Bakersfield, during September 2012-December 2014 wrote unauthorized checks from a union account that were rubber-stamped with the president’s signature; used two union-issued credit cards to make more than 200 personal purchases; and obtained reimbursements for unauthorized sick … Read More ➡
On March 27, Casey Cortese, former president of Association of Civilian Technicians Chapter 108, was indicted in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Wash., on one count of theft of funds from the Lakewood (Tacoma area) union in an amount of more than $27,000. The charge follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Financial malpractice rarely goes out of season among a number of health care affiliates of the Service Employees International Union. On February 14, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry placed SEIU Healthcare Michigan under emergency trusteeship following allegations by an unnamed internal whistleblower that two of its top officials had abused the Detroit-based union’s loan and vacation policies. Henry removed union president Marge Robinson and replaced her with three trustees to manage day-to-day affairs. While no dollar figure on the missing funds is available, evidence suggests it is substantial. The union, as it was, had been bleeding membership after the enactment by the Michigan legislature of Right to Work legislation several years ago.
Marge Faville Robinson, a nurse by profession, had done well for herself heading SEIU Healthcare Michigan (HCMI). According to the annual financial data submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, her union salary in 2015 was $209,889. Family … Read More ➡
On March 22, Sharon Holmes, former secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union Local 807, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one day in prison and 18 months of supervised release for embezzling funds from the Columbia, S.C. union. She also was ordered to pay $101,987 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Holmes had pleaded guilty in March 2016 to one count of embezzling $41,823 after being indicted the previous September for embezzlement in that amount plus wire fraud in the sum of $178,330. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Johnnie Miranti wanted an opportunity to get back into action managing his union. A court said “no such luck.” On March 23, Miranti, former secretary-treasurer of Allied Novelty and Production Workers Local 223, a toymakers union, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to eight months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to solicit and receive $138,500 worth of benefit kickbacks. He had pleaded guilty last August after being indicted in July 2015 along with his father, Rocco Miranti, and Louis Smith, former president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 810. Smith had been sentenced in January after pleading guilty last August to skimming more than $150,000 from the Local 810 health plan. Each union is based in New York City.
The Local 223 health plan, for its part, was not in the best of shape. By … Read More ➡
On March 21, Monique Tyson, former office secretary for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 3, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to one count of falsifying union records of the Raytown, Mo.-based labor federation to hide her embezzlement of funds in an amount of between $7,500 and $20,864. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡