It was a Bush family affair, but it had nothing to do with the current occupants of the White House. Ronald Bush, and his son and daughter, Stephen Bush and Barbara Ann Hayes, plus an unrelated union employee had not so much run Local 990 of the United Food and Commercial Workers as run it into the ground. The four had stolen a combined amount of more than $60,000 from the union to enjoy the good life. In federal court they received the bill.
On Thursday, February 2, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn sentenced Ronald and Stephen Bush each to five years probation, plus restitution. The pair had been charged with embezzlement last year, having allegedly used union funds to pay for personal expenses such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, restaurant meals and TV sets. Both eventually pleaded guilty to some of the charges. “I’m deeply disturbed by the criminal conduct in this case,” Judge Blackburn told Ronald Bush at the sentencing hearing. “It’s certainly no way to run a union and certainly no example to give as a father.” His daughter, Barbara Ann Hayes, a bookkeeper with Local 990, had pleaded guilty in 2004, having forged checks worth a combined $27,248. Another local bookkeeper, Grace Maldonado, also pleaded guilty that year to ripping off more than $11,000. The two women cooperated with the prosecution; like the men, each received five years’ probation.
Food and Commercial Workers Local 990, which represented workers at the Swift meatpacking plant in Greeley, about a 45-minute drive north of Denver. The local since has disbanded. Employees now are affiliated with UFCW Local 7. (Denver Post, 2/3).