The current leadership of Communications Workers of America Local 84555 might not be stealing funds, but they are inviting suspicion all the same, especially from the U.S. Department of Labor. On April 28, the DOL filed a complaint in Detroit federal court against the Durand, Mich.-based union, claiming it has been repeatedly and excessively late in filing required annual financial statements to its Office of Labor-Management Standards. The fiscal year 2014 report, for example, was due last June 29 yet has not been sent. The nearly 200-member local has not issued a response.
CWA Local 84555 is no stranger to corruption. As this publication noted slightly less than two years ago, former President James Killingsworth and his wife, Secretary-Treasurer Billie Jo Killingsworth, were sentenced to six months in prison and three months of supervised release for embezzling more than $19,000 in funds from the union, then based in Webberville, Mich., not far from Lansing. The new leaders are acting as though they, too, have something to hide. The Labor Department is charging that the local has neglected or refused to file a financial statement for fiscal year 2014 despite repeated requests. The local last filed reports, for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, last October 28. Late filing is a pattern dating back to 2008. The complaint alleges that one report since that time was 720 days late and that the average delay has been well over 500 days. The DOL has declined to comment on whether these allegations are related to the Killingsworth case.