Business Agent for Film Set Design Local Suspended

Ronnie Cunningham was a business agent for a union whose members build soundstage production sets.  Somehow he confused that with taking center stage at everyone else’s expense.  On Wednesday March 1, the executive board of Local 44 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees voted 16-0 to oust Cunningham for alleged embezzlement of union funds and other offenses dating as far back as 1996.  These charges include :  demanding cash payments from call board employees; requiring union employees to perform personal services for him; receiving unauthorized overtime pay; and blacklisting two local members.  The action is not a formal declaration of guilt, and his guilt or innocence will be determined at future date.  Cunningham already has declared his innocence.  The North Hollywood, Calif.-based Local 44 represents about 5,600 prop makers, decorators, model builders and other employees involved in television and film set design.  (Daily Variety, 3/3/06). 


Local Bosses in NW Ohio Indicted for Embezzlement

Local 5-712 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International is a small union.  That’s why the estimated $4,400 that former president Jean Paul Grennay and vice president James Bates allegedly embezzled from the local is deceptive.  Grennay, 39, and Bates, 33, were indicted early this month by a federal grand jury after a Labor Department audit of local books discovered discrepancies, including checks written by the officials to each other, occurring during June 2001 and March 2002.  Members of the Hicksville, Ohio-based local, now part of the United Steelworkers of America, work at Manufactured Housing Enterprises, Inc., located in Bryan.  (Toledo Blade, 3/3/06).              


Former Bookkeeper in Virginia Sentenced for Embezzlement

On February 16, Marcia Huizenga, ex-bookkeeper and office manager for Local 822 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for embezzling $47,131 in union funds.  She received three months in prison, to be followed by five months of home detention and three years of supervised probation.  Huizenga pleaded guilty last November following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  (OLMS, 2/28/06).


Maryland Local Ex-Treasurer Sentenced for Theft, Cover-Up

On February 15, Henry Michael Turner, former treasurer for the International Association of Machinists, National Federation of Federal Employees Local 2058, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to 12 months and one day in prison to be followed by two years of supervised probation.  Last November he pled guilty to one count of making false statements in connection with his role in embezzling $40,474 from the union.  The conviction follows an investigation by the Labor Department.  (OLMS, 2/28/06).   


Alaska Local Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On February 10, James Jackson, formerly treasurer for Local 200, Unit 62, of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union, pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling nearly $13,000 in union funds.  He was sentenced to three years probation.  Jackson had been indicted in September.  The ILWU represents workers at West Coast ports. (OLMS, 2/28/06).


Former Treasurer in Ohio Sentenced for Embezzlement

On February 9, Michelle Thompson, ex-treasurer for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 11, Chapter 2528, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to five years probation, 100 hours of community service, and was ordered to make full restitution for stealing $2,727.93 from her local.  She previously had pled guilty.  (OLMS, 2/28/06).