SW Virginia Local President Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion, Theft

At least Darrell Pendergrass knows he’s done wrong.  The former president of Local 699 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees pleaded guilty in federal court in Abingdon, Va. on April 4 to embezzling union funds and attempting to evade payroll taxes.  During his tenure as president and secretary of the photographers’ union during 2003-06, prosecutors charged, Pendergrass, a resident of Bristol, Va., diverted more than $70,000 from the union toward personal use and payroll tax evasion.  Yet hopefully the court will show leniency come sentencing on July 29.  He’s already given the court around $50,000 toward potential restitution.  IATSE Local 699 is based in the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol area in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia.  (Bristol, Virginia Herald Courier, 4/10/08).     

Former General Services Manager Charged with Embezzlement

On March 17, Zona Albritton, former manager of general services for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was charged with a criminal information count in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for embezzling $75,446 in union funds.  The charge follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  (OLMS, 4/8/08).


Former Officer of Northern Indiana Local Pleads Guilty to Theft

On March 19, Norman K. Brown, former bargaining committee chairperson of United Auto Workers Local 2911, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana to embezzling $41,478 in union funds.  He had been charged on March 7.  The local represents about 400 technical professionals at International Truck and Engine Corporation in Fort Wayne.  (OLMS, 4/8/08).


Ex-Treasurer in Ohio Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

On March 31, Kurt Swanstrom, formerly financial secretary and treasurer of Local 5-1560 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to embezzling $12,328 in union funds and falsifying union records.  He had been indicted in January.  PACE merged three years ago with the United Steelworkers of America.  (OLMS, 4/8/08). 


Seattle-Area Treasurer Charged with Making False Statement

On March 19, Karimah Bailey, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3197, was charged in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington with making a false statement and misrepresenting a material fact on the union’s annual financial report.  The Seattle-based union represents employees of VA Puget Sound Health Care Services.  (OLMS, 4/8/08).