Ex-NY Bookkeeper Sentenced to 5 Months Jail Time for Embezzlement

U.S. Dist. Judge Lawrence E, Kahn (N.D. NY, Clinton) sentenced Nancy Barber on Oct. 16 to five months in prison for embezzling $57,769 from an Albany local union. Judge Kahn could have sentenced the mother of three children under the age of 13 to 16 months in prison. He also ordered five months of home detention, three years of probation, and full restitution by Barber. She pled guilty on June 24 to stealing from Local 12 of the Intl. Assn. of Iron Workers (IAIW) between 1993 and ‘99 by pocketing dues payments in cash. [Times-Union, Albany, NY 10/17/02]

Ex-Bus. Mgr. Sentenced for Embezzlement in Mich.
On Oct. 10, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the E. Dist. of Mich., Edward K.Wiebeck, Sr., frmr. bus. mgr. of Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer. Local 503, was sentenced to confinement in a community corrections center for six months followed by six months home confinement with electronic monitoring followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $32,790.82 in restitution. On May 9, 2002, Wiebeck pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds following an investigation by the Detroit branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. [DOL OLMS 10/25/02]

Intl. Takes over Las Vegas Local amid Grumblings over Strike
As local dissidents rebelled against what they termed inadequate help from the Intl. hierarchy during a strike, the Local has been placed under trusteeship for what the Intl. described as mismanagement by local officials.

Rafael Rivera, the trustee appointed by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), refused to say what kind of mismanagement had been alleged against Local 1637 officials. But some frmr. Local officials claim that more than 200 Las Vegas bus drivers are attempting to resign from the ATU and form a new union. According to Steve Mora, a member of the local negotiating cmte., Intl. officials pressured local drivers into approving a new contract June 28 by threatening to cut off their strike pay. Rivera denied that drivers were attempting to resign. [Las Vegas Review-Journal  10/15/02]

New Indictment on Taxes Returned agn. Minn. Union Boss & City Councilman
On Oct. 16, in the U.S. Dist. CT. for the Dist. of Minn., a 2nd superceding indictment was returned against Thomas Martin, ex-bus. mgr. of the United Assn. of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 15, and Joseph Biernat, Minneapolis city councilman.

The latest superceding indictment contained the same 13 counts of extortion, mail fraud and union embezzlement against Martin, and seven counts against Biernat of aiding Martin and making a false statement to the F.B.I., that were included in the May 21, 2002 superceding indictment.  The latest superceding indictment added one count of mail fraud against both Martin and Biernat involving an individual tax return mailed to the I.R.S. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office and the FBI. [U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards 10/25/02]

NC Policeman Charged with Embezzlement
A police officer featured in local news media for his role in finding a kidnapped infant has been charged with embezzling close to $10,000 from his union from Jan. 2001 to May of this year.

Jason E. Padgett has been technical director of the N. Carolina Coalition of Police (NCCops) for three years. NCCops was established by the Intl. Union of Police Assns. (IUPA), AFL-CIO in 1998, as a representative for police officers desiring such representation, although collective bargaining between governments and unions is illegal in NC.

In his position, Padgett is responsible for the group’s web site, newsletter and bank accounts. David Spagnola, NCCops Exec. Dir., said that an initial review of the group’s banking statements prompted suspicions, which were relayed to the Bd. of Directors, composed of several local police organization presidents. After a subsequent audit, the information was handed over the law enforcement, and the charges were filed earlier this month. [Greensboro News & Record  10/12/02]

Ex-Ohio Treasurer Confesses to Embezzlement
On Oct. 18, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. CT. for the N. Dist. of Ohio, John Mylek II, frmr. treasurer of Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 886, pled guilty to an information charging him with embezzling $7,551.28 in union funds and $675 in employee benefit funds. The charges were brought following a joint investigation by the Cleveland branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards, the FBI, and the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Ofc. of the Inspector General. [DOL OLMS 10/25/02]

Ex-Secy.-Treas. Sentenced to Theft from Union, Postal Service Funds
On Oct. 4, 2002, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the N. Dist. of Ga., Dee Dee Gregory Lacy, frmr. secy.-treas. of Amer. Postal Workers Local 2695, was sentenced to six months home confinement, five years probation, and 150 hours community service. Lacy was ordered to make restitution of $2,200, pay a special court assessment of $300, and participate in both a mental health treatment program and financial counseling under probation guidance.

On July 25, 2002, Lacy pled guilty to embezzling union funds, theft of Postal Service funds, and access device fraud following a joint investigation by the Atlanta branch of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor-Mgmt. Standards, the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Ofc. of the Inspector General, and the Postal Inspection Service. [DOL OLMS 10/25/02]

Boston Steward’s Suit Raises Doubts about Strike’s Legality
As a strike by Local 254 of the Service Employees’ Intl. Union (SEIU) enters its 4th week, a shop steward’s complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) raises doubts as to whether local officials legally authorized the strike. Rocio Saenz, John Ronches and Jill Hurst were installed as trustees of Local 254 by the Intl. hierarchy in Feb. 2001. Their terms expired in August, before the janitors in 254 voted to go on strike.

In a complaint that he filed with DOL, shop steward Mark Ferguson charged that the trustees had no more authority over the Local, and called for immediate democratic elections. While Union spokeswoman Renee Asher claimed that the union has already discussed the trusteeship with DOL, local labor lawyers question whether union officials with expired terms can validly call a strike, or negotiate a contract. [Boston Globe 10/18/02]