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Union Corruption Report: February 2015

Union Corruption Report - Feb

February, a time for love and, apparently, union mischief…

On February 24, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, David Hart, former Financial Secretary/Business Agent of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 (located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of misprision of a felony (18 U.S.C. 4) for failing to report to appropriate authorities the commission of extortion by another Local 324 official (18 U.S.C. 1951).  The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

On February 23, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Henry Shuler, former Treasurer of United Transportation Union (UTU) Local 1892 (located in Houston, Tex.), was charged in a criminal information with one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On February 18, 2015, in the Buchanan County, Missouri Judicial Court, Dennis Fuston, former business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 545 (located in St. Joseph, Mo.), was charged with theft of union funds (more than $500 and less than $25,000), in violation of RS:MO 570.030, a Class C Felony.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On February 18, 2015, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Washington County, a criminal complaint was filed charging Rae Dawn Grillo, former Treasurer of the Charleroi Area Education Association (CAEA), an affiliate of the NEA/PSEA, located in Charleroi, Pa., with one felony count of Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition and two felony counts of Theft by Deception, in violation of 18 Pa. Criminal Code 3921(a) and 3922(a)(1) respectively.  Grillo embezzled $65,963 in association funds.  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On February 13, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, David Hart, former Financial Secretary/Business Agent of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 (located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was charged in a one-count information with one count of misprision of a felony (18 U.S.C. 4) for failing to report to appropriate authorities the commission of extortion by another Local 324 official (18 U.S.C. 1951).  The charge follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.

In other news…

On February 10, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Department filed suit against Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1181 (located in Valley Stream, N.Y.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the June 12, 2014 election for president, vice president, financial secretary, recording secretary, and nine executive board positions, and seeks a new election under OLMS supervision. The lawsuit alleges that the union violated the LMRDA when it failed to comply with a candidate’s reasonable request for distribution of campaign material to all members in good standing. The local used an incomplete list of members in good standing to mail the candidate’s campaign literature, which resulted in a significant number of members not receiving it. The lawsuit also alleges that the union violated the LMRDA when it denied members in good standing the right to vote, by failing to count a significant number of voted ballots from eligible members. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.
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An indictment is a formal accusation or charge based on a finding by a Grand Jury that it is likely that the person charged committed the criminal offense described in the indictment and is the means by which an accused person (defendant) is brought to trial. An indictment raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

An information is a formal accusation of a crime by a government attorney rather than a Grand Jury.  An information raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

charge is an accusation of criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. As in all criminal cases, each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count is a separate and distinct offense charged in an indictment or information.

guilty plea is a defendant’s admission to the court that he or she committed the offense charged and an agreement to waive the right to a trial.

conviction is a judgment based on a jury’s verdict, judge’s finding, or the defendant’s admission that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged.

sentence is a judicial determination of the punishment to be imposed on an individual who has plead guilty or has been convicted by a jury or judge of a criminal offense.

Source.

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