Gary Josephson, president of Communications Workers of Am. Local 4501 at Ohio State Univ., was suspended recently amid allegations of mismanagement of union funds. Union member Joe Baringhaus filed a complaint against Josephson July 7 after questions of the local’s bookkeeping were raised at a local meeting. Seth Rosen, spokesperson for CWA’s district headquarters in Cleveland, said that it received a request for an audit of the local and that an outside auditor will be sent.
Josephson believes members have unfairly blamed him for difficulties during a recent strike against OSU. Recently, anonymous phone calls have been reportedly made to a local newspaper attacking Josephson’s management of union funds. Josephson said these callers “obviously have political motives to approach the press. They’re trying to impugn my character.”
Union member Michael Harper said the charges were filed because of a history of mismanagement. “We would ask him at meetings to account for funds, and he would always say that he had the paperwork on his desk and that he would get to us and let us know. Finally, when we couldn’t get a response, Joe Baringhaus filed a complaint with the union,” Harper said. He added, “I’m just totally disgusted. I would never expect him to mismanage or embezzle funds.” [Univ. Wire 7/14/00]