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Unions In the News - June 2015

Former Transit Union Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement- The Phoenix News Times reported on June 3 that Richard Wayne Johnson, former secretary/treasurer of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, faces up to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement. Johnson stole $273,000 from the organization during the 2005 to 2012 period. While serving as secretary/treasurer, Johnson made unauthorized withdrawals from the union's bank account and wrote checks to his family members using union dollars.
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- Phoenix News Times

LESA Bus Driver Challenges Union Policy. - Michigan's Livingston Daily reported on June 10 that the Michigan Employee Relations Commission (MERC) struck down a union policy that required bus drivers to wait to discontinue payment of union dues until within a specified window. In conjunction with the National Right to Work Foundation, a Michigan bus driver challenged this Teamsters' policy. A final ruling by MERC is not expected until later in the summer.
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- Michigan's Livingston Daily

Nixon Gets $50k from UAW Days After Veto on Right-to-work- The Columbian Missourian reported on June 10 that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri received a $50,000 campaign donation from the United Automobile Workers (UAW) days after he vetoed right-to-work legislation. The donation came from UAW's international headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
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- The Columbian Missourian

Ironworker Gets 4 Years in Racketeering Case - The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on June 17 that Richard Ritchie, a member of the Ironworkers of America Local 401, was sentenced to four years in prison for racketeering conspiracy and extortion. The judge also ordered Ritchie to pay more than $25,000 in restitution. Ironworkers Local 401 was described by prosecutors as an organization in which intimidation, violence, and vandalism were prevalent.
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- The Philadelphia Inquirer

Meridian-based Union's Former Secretary-Treaurer Admits Embezzlement and Theft- The Idaho Statesmen reported on June 18 that Helen Herold-Roden pled guilty to embezzlement and theft of labor union assets. Herold-Roden served as the secretary-treasurer of the Communications Worker of America Local Union 7603 from 2002 to 2014. During the 2008 to 2014 period, she admitted to embezzling more than 4138,000 from the union. Herold-Roden now faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
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- The Idaho Statesmen

Former SAG Manager Charged with Embezzling Over $54,000 - The Jamestown Sun reported on June 18 that a former manager of the Screen Actors Guild was charged with embezzling more than $54,000 from the union in 2010. Michelle Dancy was charged with four counts of embezzlement after it was uncovered she stole thousands of dollars from union members. Dancy was also charged with five counts of possession and use of means of identification in connection with criminal activity.
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- The Jamestown Sun

Former Tulsa FOP Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement- News on 6 out of Oklahoma reported on June 22 that a former Fraternal order of Police treasurer was sentenced to nearly three years in prison. Lorna Vanlandingham stole approximately $400,000 from Lodge 93 and nearly $70,000 from the Fraternal Order of Police Oklahoma State Lodge. According to Vanlandingham, she stole the money to help pay off gambling debts.
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- News on 6

Column: 'Right to Work' is Right for Kentucky- The Cincinnati Enquirer featured a column by Kentucky State Senator Damon Thayer on the importance of right to work legislation in his state, and states across the country. According to state Sen. Thayer, "In tough economic times, sometimes we are forced to take jobs simply to 'get by' and provide for our families. Paychecks have enough taken out in taxes, so it should be a choice if you want to pay more for a union membership."
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The Cincinnati Enquirer

Indiana Postal Workers President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement- The National Legal and Policy Center reported on June 26 that the former president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 286 pled guilty to one count of embezzlement. Pamela Nessen initially pled not guilty, but following an investigation by the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards, Nessen changed her plea. She was found to have embezzled more than $58,000 from the union.
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- The National Legal and Policy Center

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