Harry S. Mattice, Jr., U.S. Attny, E.D. Tenn., has revealed new details on how a secy.-treasurer nearly bankrupted a Knoxville Steelworkers union and its members.
On Feb. 11, ex-secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers of Am. Local 35-8681 Donald G. Martin was sentenced to five months at a half-way house and five months home detention for embezzling $10,591 from the union. A jury took one hour to find Martin guilty on Oct. 10, 2001. According to Dist. Attny Mattice, Martin wrote checks from the union’s acct. for supposed “lost time” on union business, and wrote checks to himself that he recorded as paid to other members.
According to Mattice: “the prosecution of union embezzlement cases, including this one where the embezzled funds totaled only $10,591, is vital to preserving the function and financial integrity of local unions in this country. Congress has not based the union embezzlement statute on dollar figures. Instead, Congress based the statute on principles of fiduciary responsibility, and Local 8681’s membership trusted Donald G. Martin, a union financial officer, with its money. Donald Martin breached that trust and now faces the consequences of his actions.”
U.S. Dist. Judge Leon Jordan (Reagan) presided over the case [U.S.A.O., E.D.Tenn.]