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 ➡

AFGE Secretary-Treasurer in North Carolina Sentenced for Fraud

On July 30, Rudy Ziegler, former secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 446, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, and a $100 assessment, for defrauding the Asheville-based union out of $5,276. He previously paid restitution in the sum of $5,942. Ziegler had been charged with one count of wire fraud in March, and immediately pleaded guilty thereafter. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… 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 ➡

Ex-President of Fort Knox AFGE Local Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Forgery

On June 25, Rocky Gannon, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2302, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky to three counts of wire fraud and nine counts of securities forgery related to his diversion of $116,353 in funds from the union, which represents civilian personnel at Fort Knox, Ky. Gannon had been indicted last November. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  … Read More ➡

Lewisburg Federal Prison Guards Ex-President Sentenced for Fraud

Tony Liesenfeld for several years represented guards at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa. He soon will be an inmate, most likely at a location not far away. On June 8, Liesenfeld, former president and secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 148, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to a year and a day in prison, and two years of supervised release, for acts of wire fraud against the union totaling $77,716. He also was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution and a $100 assessment. Liesenfeld had pleaded guilty last October after being charged in September. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Liesenfeld, now 49, a resident of Sunbury, Pa., served as president and treasurer of local union during 2011-15. For much of that time, prosecutors alleged, he made unauthorized use of his … Read More ➡

AFGE Secretary in North Carolina Charged with Fraud; Pleads Guilty

On March 11, Rudy Ziegler, former secretary-treasurer for American Federation of Government Employees Local 446, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina with one count of wire fraud in the amount of $5,276 against the Asheville union. He then pleaded guilty, expressing remorse in the process. The charge and plea follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  … Read More ➡

South Carolina AFGE Local President Pleads Guilty

John Sammons was a double-dipper when it came to travel, but at least he can take comfort in being convicted on a single charge. On February 28, Sammons, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1872, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to one count of theft in excess of $1,000 from the union, which represents about 150 to 200 civilian employees at Shaw Air Force Base. Sammons had been indicted last July on five counts of mail fraud and one count of theft whose sum total was not specified at the time. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Sammons, now 61, an employee of Shaw AFB, was president of AFGE Local 1872 from about 2000 through 2016. Unfortunately, say prosecutors, he often used his position to receive extra reimbursements for trips related to … Read More ➡

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

Perhaps more than usual, corruption stories in 2019 involved the overlapping worlds of unions and politics. In Chicago, former Teamster boss John T. Coli Sr., whose ability to cut deals with City Hall and the Illinois legislature for years went virtually unchallenged, pleaded guilty in July to shaking down a television studio owner. One of his allies, State Senator Tom Cullerton, was hit with multiple embezzlement charges. In Boston, two city officials were convicted of putting the squeeze on a concert promoter on behalf of a Theatrical Employees local. In Philadelphia, an Electrical Workers business manager and seven other persons, including a city councilman, were indicted in January for embezzlement, wire fraud and bribery; a contractor and a fundraiser subsequently pleaded guilty.

The overlap of union and government interests was especially marked in the public sector. Unions, still smarting from the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling in 2018, … Read More ➡

AFGE Boss in Washington, D.C. Sentenced for Transporting Stolen Funds

On December 5, Audonus Duplessis, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2463, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to 12 months and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised probation and 300 hours of community service, for transporting $11,300 worth of stolen funds from the Washington, D.C. union to a Virginia location for the purpose of buying a car. The total sum stolen, however, was in excess of $80,000. AFGE Local 2463 represents employees at the Smithsonian Institution. Duplessis had pleaded guilty last October after being indicted in June. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.… Read More ➡

Former President of Fort Knox AFGE Local Charged with Fraud

On November 20, Rocky Gannon, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 2302, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on three counts of wire fraud and nine counts of securities forgery against the union, which represents civilian personnel at Fort Knox. The charges follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

 … Read More ➡