California Boss Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Union Funds

James E. Jackson, ex-boss of the Int’l Bhd. of Electrical Workers Local 45 in Hollywood, pled guilty Jan. 14 to 6 felony counts of embezzling union funds. He admitted to using the union’s credit cards for unauthorized purposes from 1994-97. Jackson said he charged $1,200 to IBEW to pay for repair work done on his Mercedes-Benz and spent another $1,207 for a Caribbean cruise. He also had the union pay for auto maintenance and insurance and for his adult daughter’s health insurance. Jackson was indicted in Aug. 1998 after a U.S. Dep’t of Labor probe. He will be sentenced Mar. 29. Prosecutors intend to argue at sentencing that the union’s loss was about $280,000. Jackson maintains it was under $41,000. [Hollywood Reporter 1/15/99]

DOL Targets Chicago Local
The U.S. Dep’t of Labor has filed suit against IBEW Local 134 in Chicago, seeking to void the 1998 election of a slate of officers led by Michael Fitzgerald. DOL alleges employer funds were used to promote Fitzgerald’s slate. Local 134 has a history of corruption. In 1992, ex-boss Timothy Bresnahan pled guilty to charges of raiding a union slush fund to buy a car for his son and other personal items. In 1990, ex-boss Edmond M. Ryan, Jr., pled guilty to lying about bosses selling union cards for kickbacks from contractors. [Chicago Sun-Times 1/15/99]