CWA President in Alabama Sentenced for Fraud, Embezzlement

For nearly a half-decade Michael Lackey enhanced his lifestyle by taking from the union till. Over the next year, he’ll be downsizing. On July 13, Lackey, former president of Communications Workers of America Local 3901, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to a year and a day in prison, and three years of supervised probation, for his theft of $69,193 in funds from the Oxford, Ala.-based union. He also was ordered to pay full restitution. Lackey had been indicted last November, and pleaded guilty this January. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He is set to report to prison on September 11.

Michael Lackey, now 44, a resident of Bremen, Ga., was elected Local 3901 president in October 2008. According to federal prosecutors, he did more than manage union funds. Starting in February 2010, he conducted unauthorized financial transactions via bank debit card, ATM card and checks. He used the funds for travel and other areas of personal spending. To conceal the thefts, he willfully failed to maintain union financial records. During the summer of 2014, union members had begun to suspect theft. A union check had bounced. And even more telling, Lackey had fallen behind on a personal bank loan on which he had pledged union assets as collateral. He resigned his post in October 2014. The Labor Department launched a full-scale probe and, having concluded Lackey stole the money, referred to the case to the Justice Department.