Labor Union Accountability: Good Work, OLMS

By March 6, 2008Labor Unions

Following up on our earlier post about the budget of the Office of Labor Management Standards, we note these enforcement actions under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act for February…so far.

On February 8, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Betty Illig, former Secretary-Treasurer for Graphic Communications Workers Local 638-S and the Tri-State District Joint Council, pled guilty to embezzling $145,675 in union funds and submitting false Form LM-3 reports. The plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.

On February 8, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Carolyn M. Wallace, former President of Steelworkers Local 02-356, pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $25,200. On December 13, 2007, Wallace was charged with one count of embezzling union funds in the same amount. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

On February 7, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Bridgett Cardall Hooks, former Secretary-Treasurer of Postal Workers Local 332, pled guilty to one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $10,820.17. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.

On February 7, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, an information was filed charging Brian Dolney, former President of Machinists Lodge 2333, with one count of bank fraud totaling $11,565. Donley fraudulently negotiated union checks at the Security National Bank in Springfield, Ohio. The charge follows an investigation by the Cincinnati District Office.

On February 6, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, an information was filed against Francis Pagan, former President of Boilermakers Local Lodge 3M, charging him with embezzling $17,415 in union funds. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cleveland District Office.

On February 6, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Chad Mowery, former Secretary-Treasurer of BLE Division 282, was charged with embezzling $2,537 in union funds. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.

On February 4, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, an information was filed against Pauline M. Gibson, former President of the Drivers, Warehousemen, Maintenance and Allied Workers of America, Local 1, charging her with making a false statement and representation of a material fact, knowing it to be false, on the local’s annual financial report. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Nashville District Office.

On February 4, 2008, in the Douglas County, Wisconsin Circuit Court, John Sigafus, former Secretary-Treasurer of Machinists Local W-335, pled no contest to theft of union funds in the amount of $2,500 or less. Subsequently, Sigafus was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $5,363.91. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Milwaukee District Office.

Theft of union funds? Embezzlement of union funds? Yes, but also union members’ funds.

Cutting the OLMS’s budget to weaken its enforcement ability is objectively anti-worker.

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