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Unions In the News - May 2015

Econ. Expert: Illinois Needs Right To Work.- WTHI TV 10 reported on May 7 that Illinois Policy Institute Director Michael Lucci argued that in order to stay economically competitive relative to its neighbors, Illinois must enact right to work legislation. During the last three years, Illinois has lost 8,600 manufacturing jobs, and in 2014, 95,000 people moved out of the state. To create a more business-friendly environment, Lucci believes Illinois must enact right to work legislation. Doing so, he argues, would encourage the return of much-needed investment in the state.
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- WTHI TV 10

Former Firefighter Sentenced. - The Suffolk News-Herald reported on May 22 that Sheron Gibson Sr., the former secretary/treasurer of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2801, was sentenced to a year in prison for embezzling from the union for which he worked. While serving as secretary/treasurer, Gibson opened a debit card with union funds, used that debit card to pay vendors for his personal business, and issued himself 67 unauthorized checks with union money.
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- The Suffolk News-Herald

Former Union President Sentenced on Theft Charge- The Kingsport Times-News reported on May 20 that former American Federation of Government Employees Local 1687 President Shiryll Lynn Durham was charged with theft of union funds. Durham took $2,640 in union funds to pay for travel expenses for which she had already been reimbursed. A judge ordered her to pay restitution, and Durham will spend on time in prison for her crime. Originally, Durham faced up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
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- The Kingsport Times News

LA Port Police Chief Indicted on Corruption Charge. - The Albany Times-Union reported on April 30 that a federal grand jury indicted Ronald Jerome Boyd, police chief for the Port of Los Angeles, on 16 counts including wire fraud, lying to FBI agents, tax evasion and failing to file federal corporate tax returns. Boyd was charged in a kickback and bribery scheme involving the creation of a smartphone app.
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- The Albany Times Union

Former KC Union Official Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzlement - The Kansas City Star reported on May 11 that former AFSCME Local 1707 President Jesse Morgan was sentenced to 21 months in prison for defrauding the union he once represented. According to federal prosecutors, Morgan used union funds to pay for personal expenses. In addition to facing up to 21 months in prision, Morgan will also have to repay Local 1707 more than $138,000.
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- The Kansas City Star

Former Youngstown Fire Union Treasurer Sentenced on Theft Charges. WYTV 33 News reported on May 14 that former International Association of Firefighters Local 312 Treasurer Destry Rush was sentenced on theft charges. Authorities say Rush took money from the firefighters union for his personal use. In addition to completing an alcohol intervention program, Rush must pay $8,000 in addition to the $70,000 he has already paid as part of his sentence.
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- WYTV 33

Feds File Complaint Against Union Local Once Victimized by Embezzlement- Michigan Live reported on May 4 the Department of Labor filed a complaint against the current leadership of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 84555. The Durand, Michigan based union has repeatedly been late in filing its financial statements, according to the Office of Labor-Management Standards. This CWA Local faced scrutiny in 2013 when the president and secretary-treasurer were sentenced to six months in prison for embezzling more than $19,000 from the union.
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- Michigan Live

Ex-union staffer gets prison time in embezzlement.- The Albuquerque Journal reported on May 4 Leonard Bridge, the union business manager of the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 131, was sentenced to a year in federal prison on charges of embezzlement. According to prosecutors, Bridge embezzled money from the union 20 times from April 2009 to August 2011, including paying himself more than was his salary, making unauthorized purchases, and making unauthorized withdrawals from Local 131's account. He was ordered to pay more than $140,000 in restitution.
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