On August 9, George Hines, ex-business agent for Local 5 of the Sheet Metal Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, to 13 months in prison for embezzling union training funds. He also was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $95,798.45. The conviction follows an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (OLMS, 9/14).
Ex-Local Treasurer in Minnesota Sentenced for Theft
On August 25, Dana Lockwood, ex-treasurer for Local 49 of the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, for embezzling more than $64,000 in local funds. He will have to serve five months in prison, undergo five months home confinement thereafter, and make full restitution. Lockwood, a resident of Hermantown, Minn., near Duluth, had pleaded guilty on March 23, after an investigation by the Labor Department. (OLMS, 9/14).
Maryland Local Treasurer Indicted for Cover-up
On August 24, Henry Michael Turner, ex-treasurer of the National Federation of Federal
Employees Local 2058, was indicted on one count of making false statements on a Labor Department union reporting form. The intent, states the indictment, was to cover up embezzlement from the union totaling $40,474. (OLMS, 9/14).
Former Treasurer in Hawaii Pleads Guilty to Tax Charge
On August 25, in U.S. District Court, Tony Rutledge, who had served as financial secretary-treasurer of the Honolulu-based Local 5 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE), pleaded guilty to falsifying a tax return. Rutledge, son of late Hawaii Teamsters and Hotel Workers chieftain Art Rutledge, had headed Unity House, an umbrella organization that provides benefits to members of HERE Local 5 and Teamsters Local 996. The senior Rutledge founded Unity House more than 50 years ago. And this isn’t the first time it’s been in hot water with the feds. In 1982 the U.S. General Accounting Office termed Unity House “a conduit for moving funds among union locals and several affiliated organizations.” The recent guilty plea by Tony Rutledge follows a joint investigation by the IRS and several offices of the Department of Labor. (OLMS, 9/14; other sources).
North Dakota Ex-Secretary Indicted for Theft and Cover-Up
On August 18, Robb Dutchuk, formerly secretary-treasurer of Local 349 of the American Postal Workers Union, was charged in U.S. District Court in North Dakota with embezzling almost $35,000, making a false statement on a union reporting form, making a false statement to the U.S. Postal Service, and destruction of union records. The indictment follows a joint investigation by the U.S. Labor Department and Postal Service. (OLMS, 9/14).
Ex-Treasurer in Delaware Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On August 31, Paul Himmelstein, formerly secretary-treasurer of Branch 1977 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in federal court, District of Delaware. Himmelstein, had been indicted in May for embezzling nearly $35,000 in local funds, following an investigation by the Department of Labor. Sentencing is set for November 29. (OLMS, 9/14).
Federal Employees Boss in Cleveland Pleads Guilty
On August 22, 2005, Diane L. Hollins, former president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3283, pleaded guilty in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas to one count of theft of union funds. She was sentenced to five years probation and required to make restitution to her local in the amount of $7,303.03. The guilty plea comes in the wake of a Labor Department investigation. (9/14/05).
Ex-Ft. Worth Local President Indicted
On August 17, Cindy Wright, ex-president of AFGE 1298 in Ft. Worth, Texas, was indicted in U.S. District Court on charges of making a false statement. The charge followed an investigation by the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice. (OLMS, 9/14).
Tennessee Secretary Charged with Embezzlement
On August 17, Kathy Jacobsen, formerly secretary-treasurer of Local 69 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, was indicted in federal court on one count of embezzling $10,000 in union funds and one count of making false entries in union records. (OLMS, 9/14).
Local Business Agent Indicted for Embezzlement
On August 16, in U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, James Taylor Banks, formerly the business agent for Operating Engineers Local 369, was indicted on one count of embezzling $6,593 in union funds, following a probe by the Labor Department. (OLMS, 9/14).
Wife of Ex-Alabama Local Secretary Pleads Guilty to Forgery
On August 2, Rhonda Hughes, wife of a union member who had been secretary-treasurer of Local 3-537 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International (PACE), pleaded guilty in Alabama State Circuit Court to three counts of forgery. She was sentenced to five years of supervised probation and ordered to pay more than $4,600 in restitution. (OLMS, 9/14).
Former Secretary-Treasurer in Utah Indicted for Thefts
On August 10, Blaine Dee Barnett, former secretary-treasurer of Division 374 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was indicted in federal court, District of Utah, on two counts of embezzling $1,100 in union funds. The action follows an investigation by the Department of Labor. (OLMS, 9/14).
Ex-Secretary in Missouri Pleads Guilty
On August 18, Jeri Russell, ex-office secretary for Communications Workers of America Local 36047, pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, to one count of making a false entry in a required record. Sentencing is set for November 3. (OLMS, 9/14).