Kane County (Ill.) Judge Michael Colwell has frozen the assets of Patrick Stiles, an ex-Aurora firefighter accused of embezzling up to $311,000 from Aurora Firefighters Local 99 and Aurora Firefighters Relief Ass’n as new details emerged about the extent of the alleged scheme. Colwell’s temporary restraining order came in response to a civil suit filed against Stiles, who resigned from the Aurora Fire Dep’t in Jan.
Local 99 is seeking to recover $240,000 from Stiles and the Relief Ass’n $71,000. The complaint alleges that $38,000 in 1997-98 union dues “were apparently not deposited,” and Stiles provided no records “as to the existence or expenditure” of more than $150,000 in 1999-2000 union dues. Allegedly, Stiles made out union checks to pay for non-union expenses, including $16,800 to credit card firms, $8,839 for telephone bills during 1997-98, $3,250 for computer equipment and $8,000 for payments to a non-union bank account. The complaint states that an embroidery firm received $5,120 during 1997-98 “with no apparent connection to union activity” and a flower shop received $1,420 during the same period “when there was no known union need for flowers.”
The Relief Ass’n alleges that Stiles made out $15,092 in checks to himself, $12,000 credit card firms, $1,941 to his auto mechanic and $4,420 to other firefighters who did work on his house. The firefighters payments were recorded as injury payments, but the firefighters were reportedly not injured. None were aware the checks were drawn on a Relief Ass’n account.
Stiles was secretary-treasurer of the Relief Ass’n from 1995 to 1999. He held the same position in Local 99 from 1992 to 2001. The court order requires Stiles to provide an accounting of all funds during the time he ran each organization and a listing of his personal assets. Both Local 99 and Relief Ass’n filed criminal complaints in Jan. No charges have been filed. [Chi. Trib. 02/09/01]
National Boss Charged with $50,000 Embezzlement
Federal prosecutors charged union boss Dennis Chiocchi Feb. 9 with embezzling more than $50,000 from the Am. Fed’n of Railroad Police. Chiocchi, formerly of Melville, N.Y., and now of Villas, N.J., allegedly embezzled the funds between 1995 and 1998 when he was secretary-treasurer and then president of AFRP, which serves Amtrak and is based in Woodbury, N.Y. John McGlynn of the Dep’t of Labor’s Inspector General’s Office in Manhattan said Chiocchi used union funds for personal travel and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Chiocchi left the force after losing reelection. He was arraigned in U.S. Dist. Court in Newark, N.J., Feb. 9 on a charge of embezzlement and released without bail. [Newsday; N.Y. Times 02/14/01]