Corrupt Union Bosses & Their Sticky Fingers Still Linger On…

The first half of June was a busy month for the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards, the agency responsible for catching corrupt union bosses.

It has been questioned whether or not the agency will be as enthused in catching corrupt union bosses in the future, since the agency is now in the hands of the union bosses’ minions.

However, before the inmates are set free to plunder their members, we thought it was important to share what the OLMS has been doing of late.

One interesting note: A cursory examination of the indictments below appear to show the bulk of the illegal activity occurred within public sector unions.

  • On June 15, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Michael Pagano, former Business Agent /Secretary-Treasurer of Roofers, Local 74 (located in West Seneca, N.Y.), was sentenced to one year probation and order to make full restitution of $9,264. In December 2008, Pagano pled guilty to one count of falsifying union records. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.
  • On June 11, 2009, in the Montgomery County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas, Monica Smalls, former Treasurer of AFGE Local 2209 (located in Dayton, Ohio), was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to make full restitution in the amount of $3,790, and required to attend the Montgomery County Theft Counseling Program. Smalls was indicted on April 10, 2009. On May 14, 2009, she pled guilty to theft of more than $500. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.
  • On June 10, 2009, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Kathleen Fonti, former President of Health Professionals & Allied Employees (HPAE) Local 5030 (located in Emerson, N.J.), pled guilty to improperly receiving loans in excess of $14,500. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.
  • On June 8, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Brian Brownlee, former Vice-President of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) 2nd District (located in Hot Springs, Ark.), pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $16,221.30. An OLMS investigation concluded that Brownlee falsified vouchers for travel, per diem, lodging and lost time. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.
  • On June 8, 2009, George Ortiz, a former New York City Department of Education School Bus Inspector, was sentenced to two and a half years incarceration to be followed by two years of supervised release and ordered to make restitution of $5,000. On February 17, 2009, Ortiz pled guilty to extorting and accepting bribes in a program receiving federal funds. The sentence follows a joint investigation of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (the primary union that represents drivers for school bus companies in New York City) as well as the New York City school bus industry by the OLMS New York District Office, Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.
  • On June 8, 2009, in the Oneida (N.Y.) City Court, Gail Shingler, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 53 (located in Oneida, N.Y.), was charged with two counts of grand larceny, in the fourth degree. Shingler was charged with taking union funds in the amount of $2,572. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.
  • On June 3, 2009, in the 79th District Court of Mason County, Michigan, Kimberly Drake, former Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 3466 (located in Ludington, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement of $200 or more but less than $1,000. Drake was immediately sentenced to two years probation, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,050 and fined $160. Drake previously made restitution in the amount of $450. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
  • On June 3, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Keith W. Hart, Jr., former Financial Secretary of Bakery Workers (BCTGM) Local 315G (formerly located in Mt. Vernon, Ind.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $13,904.69. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.
  • On June 1, 2009, in Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, Va., Sylvia Grooms, Director of Industrial Relations for American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 199 (located in Richmond, Va.), was indicted on four counts of grand larceny associated with feloniously and unlawfully stealing the union’s property. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.
  • On June 1, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Nicholas Maddalone and Paul Maddalone, former Executive Board Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (the primary union that represents school bus drivers in New York City), were indicted on charges of extortion, unlawful labor payments, and participation in a conspiracy, for allegedly using their union positions to obtain cash bribes from employers. The indictment also included a forfeiture allegation in the amount of $1,000,000. The indictments follow a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.

To read the full list of OLMS indictments (including a five-year history), go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM’s page on union corruption here.

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Filed under Amalgamated Transit Union, American Postal Workers Union, Bakery Workers Union, Roofers, United Steelworkers

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