Trustee Takes over Northern Calif. Union

National officials of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Intl. Union responded to dissident George Valdes’s complaints about Local 340 by appointing a trustee and removing the local hierarchy earlier this month.  Trustee Sherri Chiesa will administer the Burlingame union for the next 18 months.

Valdes, an organizer for the Local, accused Local 340 officials, incl. secy.-treasurer Harry Young and president Matthew Mullaney of using union credit cards for personal expenses, failing to document reimbursement requests, taking unauthorized wage advances and issuing payments for vacation time.  In May, Intl. V.P. Warren Hayman conducted a hearing on the charges.  At that hearing, the accounting firm of Bond Beebe presented an audit revealing $112,822 over three years in payments to Young and former secy.-treasurer Valentine Connolly and his wife, Nancy.

The Connollys were apparently hired as “consultants,” but are not listed on the local’s LM-2 disclosure form filed with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, which was audited by CPA Patrick Sullivan of Hayward, Calif.  And acc. to the LM-2, Local 340’s financial liabilities exceeded its assets by 16 percent last year.

Chisea said that not all of Valdes’s charges were upheld by HERE president John Wilhelm, and that the Intl. was taking no further action against the ex-officials, although she did not rule it out in the future. [Burlingame Daily News, 7/10/03]