On October 23, Stephen Priest, former financial secretary for United Auto Workers Local 1516, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on 12 counts of embezzling funds from his union in the amount of $97,899.19. Federal prosecutors charge that during September 2005-May 2006 Priest wrote himself 57 unauthorized checks, forging the signature of the union president. He also allegedly wrote checks to pay personal bills. The local represents workers at the Johnson Controls battery manufacturing plant in Middletown, Del. The indictment follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (Associated Press, 10/31/07; OLMS, 11/10/07).
Financial Secretary in Michigan Sentenced for False Statements
On October 24, Willie Haynes, former financial secretary for UAW Local 362, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to one year of probation for willfully making false statements on the union’s annual financial reporting forms during 2001-03. He pleaded guilty in July. In addition to serving probation, Haynes must pay a $2,000 fine and a $25 special assessment. Though he was not charged with embezzlement, he might well have been. He fully repaid by the end of 2004 the $10,201.42 he owed. Local 362 represents workers at the General Motors Powertrain plant in Bay City. (OLMS, 11/10/07).
Local President in Tennessee Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
On October 29, Ron Schweitzer, former president of Local 1967 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to one count of embezzling $58,305 in union funds. He had been indicted in April. PACE merged with the United Steelworkers of America in 2005. The union is now known as Local 05-1967, and at the time of the theft had been based in Ohio. (OLMS, 11/10/07).
Connecticut President Pleads Guilty to Filing False Statements
On November 2, Timothy C. Ferrucci, former president of the Northeast Emergency Services Union (NEESU), pleaded guilty in federal court in Connecticut to four counts of filing a false union financial reporting form for the years 2001, 2002 and 2003. In each case, he understated his direct and/or indirect compensation. As part of his plea agreement, Ferrucci will have to make restitution to his union in the amount of $27,347.67. This isn’t the only recent scandal to befall the union. This past April, Andrew Konspore, the union’s former treasurer, was sentenced in federal court to five months imprisonment and three years supervised release for embezzling more than $90,000 in union funds. NEESU is an independent union representing about 400 employees of American Medical Response of New Haven and Greater New Haven Transit Company. (OLMS, 11/10/07).
Nebraska Treasurer Sentenced for Making False Statements
On November 1, Connie Scarrow, formerly secretary-treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3749, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska to five years probation and six months home confinement for making a false entry in union financial reporting forms in order to cover her embezzlement. Scarrow previously had made restitution to the union in the amount of $11,000. She pleaded guilty in August. The local is based in Kenesaw, Neb. (OLMS, 11/10/07).