James Miles has plenty of reasons to fear a trial – more than 350 of them, in fact. Miles, formerly treasurer of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1023, pleaded not guilty in Riverside, Calif. federal court on February 3 to charges related to his theft of more than $93,000 from the Barstow union over four and a half years. A grand jury on January 13 had indicted him on one count of embezzlement, nine counts of mail fraud and two counts of filing false financial statements with the U.S. Department of Labor. He also allegedly filed false federal and state tax returns on behalf of himself and the union. A pretrial hearing is set for March 22.
Prosecutors allege that Miles, 69, a resident of Barstow (San Bernardino County), without authorization had issued and signed more than 350 union checks to cover personal expenses during the period January 2003-June 2007. His total take was $93,273. Union President Gilbert Duran said he testified before the grand jury in January. Miles’ attorney, Stanley Hodge, was unavailable for comment. Local 1023 represents about 180 employees of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad.