Danae Romero might not be the only culpable member of her family, but she appears to be the first to admit as much. On March 9, Romero, former vice president of the United Industrial and Service Workers of America, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to one count of theft in connection with the disappearance of benefit funds from the Colton (San Bernardino County), Calif.-based independent union. She, her brother and their parents had been indicted a little over two years ago for looting a combined roughly $900,000 in funds from the union, which represents a variety of workers in Southern California’s Inland Empire region. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Union Corruption Update covered this case when it first broke. Back in January 2015, husband and … Read More ➡
On March 22, Curtis Dean Lang, former president of United Dairy Workers of Le Mars, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on one count of embezzling $45,040 in funds from the Le Mars (near Sioux City) union, which represents employees of Wells Enterprises. Lang pleaded not guilty the next day at his arraignment, and was released on bond. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
It’s an all-too-familiar story: A cop enforces the law, but breaks it on the side by dipping into his union’s till. Last Friday, March 24, Christopher Hayes, a former sergeant with the Newport, R.I. police department, was charged in Providence federal court with wire fraud in the sum of more than $70,000 against Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge No. 8, where he had served as president for several years. At his arraignment hearing, he initially pleaded “not guilty,” but quickly changed his plea to “guilty.” Hayes was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, assisted by the Rhode Island State Police.
According to court documents, Hayes, 49, a resident of Middletown, R.I., during August 2009-December 2014 used his union debit card to pay for personal expenses; wrote checks payable to … Read More ➡
The Justice Department has finished its work – and with a perfect score. On October 26, the last of 11 members of locals represented by the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Daniel Rehfelt, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to one count of theft from a union-sponsored health care plan. He then was sentenced to six months on probation and ordered to pay full restitution. This was the same sentence handed out to the other ten defendants. All had been charged last August. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.
Union Corruption Update covered this case several months ago. Federal prosecutors had alleged in separate information counts that eleven Carpenters union workers, all but one an Indiana resident, had fleeced the council health plan by … Read More ➡
On March 1, Stephen Royer, former secretary-treasurer for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 243, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $130,870 in funds from the East Prospect, Pa. (York County)-based union and four counts of filing false financial reports. The five-count indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
For the last several years the National Labor Relations Board often has behaved as if it were the National Organized Labor Promotion Board. President Trump has a real opportunity to reverse the board’s many wrong turns by filling two current vacancies. A new monograph released a few weeks ago by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative, “Restoring Common Sense to Labor Law: Ten Policies to Fix at the National Labor Relations Board,” can serve as a guide. The 43-page report summarizes the ways in which the NLRB during the Obama era stretched the boundaries of labor law, often to bizarre lengths, to accommodate union leaders. Rather than balance the interests of employers and workers, the board issued a series of rulings that overturned longstanding and reasonable precedent.
The National Labor Relations Board, created under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), is a federal agency … Read More ➡
On March 3, Edward Padilla, former secretary-treasurer and business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 220, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California with one count of embezzlement in the amount of $168,780 from the Bakersfield union. The charge follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
On March 8, Brian Scott, former president and business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 503, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to one year and a day in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, for acts of embezzlement and mail fraud against the Monroe (Orange County), N.Y.-based union totaling $66,954 during July 2008-February 2012. He also was ordered to pay $68,771 in restitution. Scott had pleaded guilty last November following a superseding indictment in August. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡
Takisha Brown Dorsey virtually cleaned out her union treasury. Within several months, she might be cleaning prison kitchen pots and pans. On March 9, Dorsey, formerly chairwoman of the District of Columbia Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services union, an affiliate of the Fraternal Order of Police, pleaded guilty in Washington, D.C. federal court to wire fraud in the theft of more than $180,000 from the roughly 240-member union over a nearly three-year period. As part of her agreement, she agreed to make full restitution and forfeit assets in an identical amount. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1.
Dorsey, 41, a resident of Waldorf, Md., chaired the Fraternal Order of Police-DYRS during January 2012-December 2015. In February 2014, she removed a union by-law requiring a second signature be on union checks. That move, alleged prosecutors, paved the way for embezzlement. In November 2015, a suspicious union executive board gave her … Read More ➡
On February 24, Juan Carlos Recinos, former business manager and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 201, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of fraud against seven fellow union members in the sum of $26,900. He had been indicted last March for defrauding these individuals out of $18,700. The scheme involved false assertions by Recinos about the need for the employees to forward a portion of their back pay awards to an unnamed “attorney.” Rather than forward the collected funds, he simply kept the money. Local 201 represents public works employees, including those at the District of Columbia’s Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, where Recinos and the others worked. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡