11/21/08

Bush Administration helps unions out

Public pays for patrolling union crime

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) today announced its criminal enforcement data for October 2008. During the month, OLMS obtained 10 convictions and nine indictments, and restitution totaling more than $625,000 was paid or ordered by the courts. The office's October results are also the totals for fiscal year 2009, which began on October 1, 2008. The bulk of the cases involved the embezzlement of union funds.

"OLMS had another strong month of criminal enforcement in October, and union members are the beneficiaries. Our pursuit of individuals who abuse their positions of trust has resulted in successful prosecutions that we hope will deter others in the future," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards Don Todd. "Through our enforcement efforts last month, OLMS was able to secure convictions against 10 people, and obtain payment or court orders for restitution of more than $625,000 for hard-working union members."

OLMS is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for administering most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). The agency's criminal enforcement program includes investigations of embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members' rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections. The agency's civil program receives and publicly discloses unions' annual financial reports, conducts compliance audits of labor unions and seeks civil remedies for violations of officer election procedures. In certain cases, OLMS also conducts joint investigations with other Labor Department agencies, including the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Office of Inspector General, as well as other law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

OLMS's public disclosure Web site at www.unionreports.gov contains union annual financial reports and additional reports required to be filed under the LMRDA as well as copies of collective bargaining agreements. Other information, including synopses of OLMS enforcement actions, is available at www.olms.dol.gov.

Editor's Notes: A listing of selected OLMS enforcement actions during October 2008 is below. An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges and indictments noted in these materials are accusations only.

Selected Enforcement Actions in October 2008
Office of Labor-Management Standards
U.S. Department of Labor

Sentencings

Former Steelworkers Local 1077 Officer Sentenced for Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 2, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Betty Wing, former secretary-treasurer of Steelworkers (formerly PACE) Local 1077 (located in Lambertville, Mich.), was sentenced to one day of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,584.65 and a special assessment of $100. On June 27, Wing pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

Former AFGE Local 3197 Treasurer Ordered to Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $85,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 6, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Karimah Bailey, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3197 (located in Seattle, Wash.), was sentenced to 12 months and one day in jail and three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $98,802.17. On April 4, Bailey pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $85,412, and making a false statement and representation of a material fact, knowing it to be false, on the local's annual financial report. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Seattle District Office.

Former Steelworkers Local 430 Officer Sentenced for Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 7, in the Trial Court of Berrien County, Mich., Michael LaPorte, former secretary-treasurer of Steelworkers Local 430 (located in Niles, Mich.), was sentenced to 90 days of electronic monitoring and ordered to pay a $550 fine. LaPorte previously had made restitution in the amount of $1,080.On Oct. 3, LaPorte pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

Former Ironworkers Local 709 Ordered to Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $51,000
On Oct. 8, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Louella M. Zieman, former office secretary of Ironworkers Local 709 (located in Port Wentworth, Ga.), was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison and three years of supervised released, and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $51,684.50 as well as to pay a special assessment of $100. On June 4, Zieman pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds in the same amount and one count of making false entries in the union's financial records. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

Former BLET Division 282 Officer Sentenced for Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 14, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Chad Mowery, former secretary-treasurer of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 282 (located in Springdale, Ohio), was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution. On May 5, Mowery pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

Former AFGE Local 2440 President Sentenced for Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 16, in the County Court of Westchester County, N.Y., Glenroy Richards, former president of AFGE Local 2440 (located in Montrose, N.Y.), was sentenced to five years of supervised probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $11,243. During the period of July to November 2006, Richards utilized his union-issued debit card to withdraw funds in the same amount from the union's checking account. On July 7, Richards pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.

Former AFGE Local 1793 Officers Sentenced to Incarceration for Theft of More Than $184,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 23 and 24, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Lawrence Marable and Deborah Powell, former president and treasurer of AFGE Local 1793, which represents employees at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa., were sentenced on a seven-count indictment that included one count of conspiracy, five counts of theft of property in a special territorial jurisdiction of the United States and one count of making false statements. Marable was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration followed by three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $184,129.85, a special assessment of $700 and a fine of $3,000. Powell was sentenced to 12 months and one day of incarceration followed by two years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $184,129.85 and a special assessment of $700. Marable and Powell conspired to convert dues checkoff checks and issue Local 1793 checks for their personal use totaling $184,129.85. Marable and Powell were held separately liable in the payment of restitution. The sentencings follow a joint investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General.

Former AFGE Local 900 Officer Ordered to Pay More Than $77,000 in Restitution Associated with Making False Statements
On Oct. 30, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Edna Latimore, former secretary-treasurer of AFGE Local 900 (located in St. Louis, Mo.), was sentenced to six months of home detention and three years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $77,857.26. On Aug. 7, Latimore was charged with making false statements on the local's Form LM-3. Latimore omitted unauthorized payments to herself from the report. The sentencing follows an investigation by the St. Louis District Office.

Guilty Pleas

Former Union President Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $16,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 1, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Luther L. Corey, former president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1197 (located in Jacksonville, Fla.), pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $16,288.37. On March 26, Corey was charged with embezzling union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

Former Laborers Local 500 Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 2, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Thomas Leonard, former recording secretary of Laborers Local 500 (located in Toledo, Ohio), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $4,386. The plea follows a joint investigation conducted by the OLMS Cleveland District Office, the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Former Steelworker Local 14310 Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $76,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 6, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Donna Roles, former financial secretary of Steelworkers Local 14310 (located in Mount Hope, W.Va.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $76,420. On May 20, Roles was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount and one count of falsifying union records. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Pittsburgh District Office.

Former UAW Local 2926 President Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $15,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 7, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, an information was filed charging Christopher Ethington, former president of International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 2926 (located in Shelbyville, Ky.), with one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $15,100. Subsequently, Ethington pleaded guilty to the charge. The charge and plea follow an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

Former Steelworkers Local 2948 Pleads Guilty to Filing False Report
On Oct. 16, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Clarence Morgan, former president of Steelworkers Local 2948, (located in Columbus, Ga.), pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false Labor Organization Annual Report for the 2003 reporting year. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta District Office.

Former Steelworkers Local 9349 Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of More Than $19,000
On Oct. 22, in the St. Louis County District Court of Minnesota, Kathleen Kordish, former financial secretary of Steelworkers Local 9349 (located in Hibbing, Minn.), pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft by false representation in excess of $2,500. Kordish was alleged to have embezzled union funds in the amount of $19,148.54. On April 29, Kordish was charged with one count of theft of funds by false representation in excess of $2,500. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office.

Former Machinist Eastern Regional Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Union Funds
On Oct. 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Rebecca Montgomery, former bookkeeper/office secretary of Machinists Eastern Regional Office (located in Cincinnati, Ohio), pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $509. Montgomery previously made full restitution in the amount of $14,340. On Aug. 20, Montgomery was charged with embezzling union funds in the amount of $509. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

Steelworkers Local 20 Area Vice President Pleads Guilty to Falsification of Records
On Oct. 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Eugene Huss, area vice president of Steelworkers Local 20 (located in Kaukauna, Wis.), pleaded guilty to two counts of falsification of union records and agreed to make restitution in the amount of $2,000. On May 20, Huss was indicted on 13 counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $1,617.75. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

Former Machinist Lodge 2444 Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $47,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 24, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Krista Yeatts, former office manager of Machinist Lodge 2444 (located in Winston-Salem, N.C.), pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $47,746.01. On July 28, Yeatts was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.

Former AFT Local 4973 Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $15,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 24, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Grace Gaines, former treasurer of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 4973 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.), pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzling union funds in the amount of $15,597.00. The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia District Office and the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General.

Former AFGE Local 2152 Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Theft of Union Funds
On Oct. 27, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, Janet Louise Johnson, former treasurer of AFGE Local 2152 (located in Reno, Nev.), pleaded guilty to one count of theft of union funds at a place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. On June 4, Johnson was indicted on one count of wire fraud in the amount of $11,251.44 and seven counts of theft of union funds at a place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Johnson is alleged to have used union funds to pay for unauthorized personal charges made on the union's credit card. The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Las Vegas Resident Investigator Office and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General.

Criminal Charges and Indictments*

Former AFSCME Region 4 Officer Indicted for Embezzling More Than $16,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 9, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, Carol Bruno, former treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Civil Service Employees Association Region 4 (located in Albany, N.Y.) was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $16,118.57 between March 2004 and March 2006. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.

Former BLET Division 3 Officer Charged with Embezzling More Than $47,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, an information was filed charging Todd F. Novak, former secretary-treasurer of BLET Division 3 (located in Cleveland, Ohio), with one count of embezzlement in the amount of $47,780.89. The information follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

Former Glass Molders Local Officer Indicted for Embezzling $24,000 in Union Funds
On Oct. 23, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Michael St. John, former secretary-treasurer of Glass Molders Local 30 (located in Festus, Mo.) was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of approximately $24,000. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS St. Louis District Office.

Enforcement Actions and Civil Complaints

UAW Local 400 Enters into Voluntary Compliance Agreement with OLMS
On Oct. 8, OLMS entered into a voluntary compliance agreement with UAW Local 400 (located in Utica, Mich.) concerning a challenged election of local officers conducted on April 16, 2008. The union agreed to conduct a new election, under OLMS supervision, for the positions of president and vice president. The OLMS investigation of the challenged election disclosed that candidates were denied the opportunity to mail their campaign literature to a portion of the membership. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.

Department of Labor Files Suit to Set Aside SEIU Local 6434 Officer Election
On Oct. 17, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the department filed suit against Service Employees International Union Local 6434 (located in Los Angeles, Calif.). The lawsuit seeks to void the March 12, 2008 election of officers. The complaint alleges that the union failed to provide a reasonable opportunity for the nomination of candidates by imposing an unreasonable petition requirement on potential nominees. Also, the union inaccurately notified the membership that this requirement applied to all offices despite the fact that some offices required a lower number of signatures. The union's nomination notice provided that in order to run for office nominees were required to collect 4,858 signatures. All 82 offices were uncontested. The suit follows an investigation by the OLMS Los Angeles Office.

* An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal charges and indictments noted in these materials are accusations only.

(7thspace.com)

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