For nearly a half-decade, Tony Westly enriched himself at union expense. The consequences won’t be nearly as rewarding. On August 7, Westly, former business manager and secretary-treasurer for Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 148, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to six months in prison and three years of probation, six months of which must be spent in home confinement, for embezzling funds from the Atlanta-based union. He also was ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution plus a $100 special assessment. Westly had pleaded last November after being charged in October. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 148 represents about 650 members in eight Southeastern states. Its treasury is also somewhat short on funds. According to prosecutors, Westly during January 2013-June 2017 embezzled $103,698.75 in union funds in the form of unauthorized checks, debit card purchases and payroll disbursements. The union’s national headquarters in Columbia, Md. initially discovered the losses and conducted an internal probe. “This sentencing and restitution order sends a clear message that there are consequences for individuals who breach the trust placed in them to be good stewards of union funds,” said OLMS District Director Craig Neel.