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 ➡

Philadelphia Electrical Workers Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Theft

ibewlogoBeing a union contractor can be risky, even if the labor boss with whom he does shady business has the same last name and is a lifelong friend. Such was the case for Donald “Gus” Dougherty, president of Dougherty Electric, Inc., in Philadelphia. On Monday, May 19, Dougherty pleaded guilty in federal court to bribing a business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 to facilitate an off-the-books payroll scheme. He’d been charged last June in a 100-count indictment handed down following a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the Department of Labor. The guilty plea comes on the heels of another guilty plea by him on April 15 to 98 counts that included operating an illegal cash payroll, stealing from a union benefit plan, and bribing a bank official.


For four years, said federal prosecutors, Donald Dougherty paid off the business manager of the Read More ➡

Ex-Official of New Mexico Local on Trial for Murder of Member

ibewlogoTake two men with a temper, and mix them with alcohol, a gun, and union business. The results can be lethal. That was the case five years ago at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611 in Albuquerque. Andrew Palmer, former union president and business manager, shot union member and independent contractor Chris Romero to death after an argument at a local bar over union financial affairs. Charged with one count of murder, Palmer, now 58, belatedly went on trial last month. That Palmer was the triggerman is not in doubt – in fact, he’d turned himself into police on the day of the shooting. But the circumstances surrounding the death were ambiguous enough to produce a hung jury on April 27 following several days of deliberation.  


Chris Romero wasn’t an easy guy to get along with. John W. Johnson, whom Palmer appointed as the union’s dispatcher in 1999, testified Read More ➡