AFGE Leads All American Unions in Criminal Misconduct by its Officials Since 2014

By on June 4, 2015 in Current Events with 154 Comments

According to the Office of Labor-Management Standards of the Department of Labor website, the following criminal actions took place with regard to Federal employee union officials since January of 2014. Sixteen involved the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and one, the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE). Of the AFGE cases, 13 were found guilty and 3 indicted. The NAGE official was sentenced in his case. AFGE accounted for more activity than either large Postal workers union and, in fact, had more indictments and sentences than any other U.S. union of any kind.

These cases don’t require any editorial comment but you gotta ask who at AFGE’s headquarters is asleep at the switch. Remember these actions followed investigations by the Labor Department not as the result of any internal review. I would be curious to see what actions their employing agencies took, if any, as there must be some nexus between criminal misconduct and a negative effect on the efficiency of the service for most if not all of their government jobs.

These Involved AFGE Officials:

On March 31, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend, Curtis Bullick, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3254 (located in Bunker Hill, Ind.), pled guilty to a one-count information for taking away with the intent to steal property of another within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661.  The sentencing is scheduled for July 7, 2015.  The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On March 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Timothy Sanchez, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 906 (located in Topeka, Kans.), was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $50,156.  On September 12, 2014, Sanchez pled guilty to one count of Interstate Transportation of Money Obtained by Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2314.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On February 27, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, Stephanie Hicks, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2207 (located in Birmingham, Ala.), was indicted on eight counts of bank fraud for embezzling approximately $132,000, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344; eight counts of forged securities, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513(a); and three counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1028(a)(1).  The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.

On February 2, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Shiryll Durham, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1687 (located in Mountain Home, Tenn.), pled guilty to one count of mail fraud in the amount of $2,651, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341.  The sentencing is scheduled for May 18, 2015.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville Office.

On December 10, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Paul Florez, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3922 (located in El Paso, Tex.), was charged in a one-count indictment for taking away with the intent to steal property of another within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661, in the amount of $59,709.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On November 5, 2014, in the Adams County Wisconsin District Court, Christopher Zawikowski, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3495 (located in Grand Marsh, Wis.), pled no contest to one count of theft in a business setting of less than $2,500, in violation of Wisconsin State Statute 943.20(1)(b), and was then sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,400.  The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office.

On October 14, 2014, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Aide Spade, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 709 (located in Littleton, Colo.), pled guilty to one count of making and using a false document knowing the same to contain materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and entries, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(3).  The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

On September 19, 2014, in the County Court of Lancaster County, Nebraska, Mark Whetstone, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3928 (located in Lincoln, Neb.), was sentenced to 18 months of probation and was ordered to pay $4,811 in restitution, a $59 fine, and $630 in fees.  On May 13, 2014, Whetstone pled no contest and was found guilty of one count of theft by deception, in violation of Nebraska Revised Statute 28-512.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On July 18, 2014, in the State of Washington, County of Clark, William Hainsey, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 249 (located in Vancouver, Wash.), pled guilty to a single count of theft in the first degree, in violation of RCW 9A.56.030.  He was then sentenced to nine months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $45,574 and a $500 fine.  The guilty plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office.

On June 5, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Mary Craigen, former Secretary Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2107 (located in North Chicago, Ill.), was sentenced to 90 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay restitution of $8,975.  On November 20, 2012, Craigen pled guilty to count one of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On May 23, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, James E. Charleston, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2107 (located in North Chicago, Ill.), was sentenced to one year and one day of imprisonment followed by 18 months of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $102,784.  On January 28, 2014, Charleston pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On March 25, 2014, in the State of New Jersey, County of Burlington, Michelle Garber, former office employee of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1778 (located in Wrightstown, N.J.), was indicted before the Grand Jury and charged with one count of Theft by Deception (3rd degree), in violation of N.J.S. 2C:20-4; one count of Misapplication of Entrusted Property (3rd degree), in violation of N.J.S. 2C:21-15; and Elements of Computer Theft (3rd degree), in violation of N.J.S. 2C:20-25c in an amount in excess of $500 but less than $75,000.  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.

On March 6, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Janet Posey, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2384 (located in Clarksburg, W.Va.), was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a $250 fine.  On October 22, 2013, Posey pled guilty to a one-count information charging her with receiving and concealing less than $1,000 in money and funds feloniously taken, stolen, and embezzled, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 662.  Posey previously made full restitution of $3,026.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On March 6, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Linda Bland, former Vice President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2384 (located in Clarksburg, W.Va.), was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay $947 in restitution and a $250 fine.  On October 22, 2013, Bland pled guilty to a one-count information charging her with receiving and concealing less than $1,000 in money and funds feloniously taken, stolen, and embezzled, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 662.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On January 28, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Shelly Roanhorse, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3601 (located in Claremore, Okla.), was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $4,565 in restitution.  On October 21, 2013, Roanhorse pled guilty to a one count indictment charging her with making false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On January 28, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, James E. Charleston, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2107 (located in North Chicago, Ill.), pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341.  A superseding indictment filed on August 15, 2013 charged Charleston with four counts of mail fraud and one count of theft on government property, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

This Involved a NAGE Official:

On February 14, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Rufino Sanchez, former President of National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R3-10 – Air Traffic Controllers Assistants (located in Aurora, Ill.), was sentenced to four years of probation, six months of home detention (special condition of probation), and was ordered to pay $18,765 in restitution, $18,765 in forfeiture of property, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.  On March 22, 2013, Sanchez pled guilty to mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.

I usually say I am responsible for the content of my articles but these folks are the responsible ones this time.

© 2016 Bob Gilson. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Bob Gilson.

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About the Author

Bob Gilson is a consultant with a specialty in working with and training Federal agencies to resolve employee problems at all levels. A retired agency labor and employee relations director, Bob has authored or co-authored a number of books dealing with Federal issues and also conducts training seminars.

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