Detroit-Area Operating Engineers Ex-Boss Sentenced

On April 25, Steven Minella, ex-president/business agent of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, was ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to pay $38,000 in restitution to the Detroit-area union for failure to report a crime committed by someone else (misprision). That someone else was his predecessor, John Hamilton, who embezzled over $70,000 from his re-election campaign war chest in 2012. Hamilton, who pleaded guilty last August to extortion and embezzlement, distributed the money in roughly equal amounts to Minella and David Hart, Minella’s now-convicted chief of staff. Minella had pleaded guilty in September 2015. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General and Employee Benefits Security Administration.