Transportation Union Treasurer in Nebraska Sentenced for Embezzlement

smart-logoOn October 19, Richard Molczyk, former treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 493, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska to five years of probation and ordered to pay $13,196 in restitution and a $100 special assessment for embezzling funds from the Omaha union. He had pleaded guilty in April after being indicted in August 2014. United Transportation Union is now formally Transportation Division of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART), the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers having merged several years ago. Local 493 is now based in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Electrical Workers President in Upstate New York Indicted

IBEW logoOn October 19, Brian Scott, former president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 503, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on one count of embezzlement of an unspecified sum and one count of false reporting.  The union is based in Monroe (Orange County), N.Y.  The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Will Unions Force Employers to Recognize Card Checks?

“Card Check: The Sequel” has arrived. No, it’s not a movie. It’s a congressional bill. And labor unions are counting on a happy ending this time. On October 6, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., unveiled the Workplace Democracy Act (S. 2142, H.R. 3690). The measure would force nonunion private-sector employers to recognize a union as a bargaining agent if it obtains signed pledge cards from over half of all potentially affected workers. This organizing tactic, known as a “card check,” is legal. And unions often use it as a prelude to, or a substitute for, a secret ballot representation election. The bill’s name is misleading. It’s no more about democracy than its almost identical forerunner, the Employee Free Choice Act, was about freedom of choice. And its economic effects are not likely to be salutary.

Union Corruption Update covered this issue extensively in 2007 and 2009, … Read More ➡

AFGE Local President in Upstate New York Indicted for Fraud

afge logo_0A debit card can be highly convenient, especially if the name on the card refers to a deceased individual.  William Davis has found out such a practice carries a downside.  On October 23, federal prosecutors announced the indictment of Davis, ex-president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1119, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on one count of wire fraud and two counts of making false financial statements in the theft of more than $120,000 in union funds.  The union represents about 300 employees at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System’s FDR campus in Montrose, N.Y. (Westchester County).  The charges follow a joint probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.

William Davis was president of AFGE Local 1119 from about January 2008 to October 2012.  For most of that time, prosecutors … Read More ➡

Former President of Alabama AFGE Local Sentenced for Thefts

afge logo_0For Stephanie Hicks, the bill for more than a half-decade of thefts has come due. Last Tuesday, November 17, Hicks, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2207, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to six months in federal prison, plus six months of home detention, for embezzling more than $92,000 from the union, which represents employees at the Birmingham VA Hospital. Hicks had pleaded guilty to bank fraud and forgery in June after being indicted for embezzling over $132,000. The actions follow a joint investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor.

Hicks, now 44, was elected president of AFGE Local 2207 in July 2007, and served in that capacity for six years. Unfortunately, she did more than manage union affairs. Federal prosecutors alleged that from January 1, 2008 until July 26, 2013, Hicks diverted funds from … Read More ➡

Court Reinstates Conviction of New Jersey Electrical Workers Business Agent

IBEW logoFor a while, Richard “Buzzy” Dressel wasn’t certain whether he would be headed for prison. He’s more certain now. On August 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated the jury guilty verdict of Dressel, former business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164, on charges of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Paramus, N.J.-based union and its job training fund. In reversing U.S. District Judge William Martini’s decision of April 2014 that had tossed out two embezzlement convictions, the appellate court stated: “The jury’s verdict was not irrational, as there was sufficient evidence to convict Dressel of embezzling union funds.” Dressel allegedly had used the money to provide his girlfriend (and now wife) with a no-show union job and to bankroll her catering business with a no-bid contract.

Union Corruption Update reported on this case twice before. Back in November 2012, Richard … Read More ➡

Plumbers Ex-Business Manager in West Virginia Charged with Benefits Theft

plumbers-union-logoOn October 6, Jeffrey Beresford, former business manager and financial secretary of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia with two counts of embezzling funds from the joint apprenticeship program of the Wheeling union. Beresford, 55, a resident of Cameron, W.Va., allegedly used position as a program trustee to write unauthorized checks from its bank account. The alleged offense is separate from a financial records fraud charge in 2013 to which Beresford pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $4,507 in restitution. The new charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡

Security Officers Treasurer in Colorado Pleads Guilty

UGSOAOn October 14, Christopher Headlee, former treasurer of United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to one count of falsifying records of the Colorado Springs-based union.  The plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Pennsylvania Local IBEW President Indicted for Embezzlement

IBEW logoOn October 13, Robin Pirrello, former president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1637, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on one count of embezzling $22,184 in funds from the Erie-based union.  Prosecutors allege that Ms. Pirrello during October 2010-August 2011 wrote and cashed union checks to herself; obtained unauthorized salary advances after she had left office; obtained unauthorized per diem travel reimbursements; and made unauthorized payments to a business entity.  The indictment follows an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Bookkeeper for Chicago-Area Ironworkers Local Pleads Guilty

Iron Workers logoOn October 8, Michelle Misso, former bookkeeper for Iron Workers Local 63, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of making false entries in the records of the Broadview (suburban Chicago), Ill.-based union to conceal her acts of embezzlement totaling $47,161.  She had been charged in August.  The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.… Read More ➡