All those years of being honest didn’t pay well enough for Dennis Robertson. His year and a half of being dishonest, however, will cost him a lot more than it was worth. On June 25, Robertson, former business manager for Laborers International Union of North America Local 668, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire to embezzling almost $38,000 from the Hooksett (Merrimack County), N.H.-based union. Although the charging documents referred to the labor organization as simply a “local union,” an online search by the Manchester Union Leader determined that this union was LIUNA Local 668. Sentencing is set for October 1. The guilty plea follows a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
According to court records, Robertson, now 43, a resident of Hooksett, served as local business manager for about 14 years until his dismissal in March 2017. He was let go for a reason. A union audit revealed numerous recent financial discrepancies. Local officials then asked the Department of Labor to conduct its own investigation. During August 2015-February 2017, the DOL concluded, Robertson had written a combined $23,519 in unauthorized expense checks to himself and made unauthorized cash withdrawals from a union checking account. In addition, he collected $11,333 in nonexistent or inflated travel vouchers and pocketed $3,045 in unreported dues payments. This February, he admitted to investigators that he misappropriated the money for his own use. U.S. Attorney Scott Murray explained following the inevitable guilty plea: “Union members place substantial trust in those who handle union finances. When individuals betray that trust and take money for their personal use, they will be held accountable for their unlawful conduct.”