AFGE Officer Lies Under Oath to Chief FLRA ALJ While AFGE Locals Continue Corruption Crimes at Higher Rates Than Ever

By on September 22, 2016 in Court Cases with 0 Comments

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In a recent decision, 69 FLRA No.69 involving an unfair labor practice charge against an American Federation of Government Employees’ (AFGE) Local in Texas, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) upheld the decision of Chief Administrative Law Judge Charles R. Center that the union had violated the labor statute.

The case involved an allegation by an employee in the bargaining unit that the union’s vice-president had tried to get the Agency to discipline her because she was critical of the union. According to the decision of FLRA, both at the hearing and in his decision, the judge called the union official a liar.

Now I’m not a lawyer, you understand, but I thought that lying under oath was a crime called perjury. So with this finding, I’m curious whether the Agency has or plans to take disciplinary action; whether the matter will be addressed by the applicable U.S. Attorney; or whether AFGE plans to, at least, investigate whether or not the individual should remain a union official.

AFGE High Corruption Conviction Rate Increases

AFGE doesn’t have a very good record dealing with criminal behavior. As I’ve written in a prior FedSmith article, AFGE has more corruption indictments and convictions than all other public sector (including state and local) unions put together and more than any other single union in the United States.

While admittedly older than most of my readers, I remember when the late Bobby Kennedy went on a nationally publicized campaign to eradicate corruption in the Teamsters. AFGE has the teamsters beat with more than double the indictments and convictions of that union since April of last year of last year. I guess AG Loretta Lynch is too busy with other things to look into proven blatant and widespread corruption in a Federal Sector union even if that same union has large recognitions within the Justice Department. As things stand, it appears, Justice waits on the Labor Department to find corruption before it steps in. By the way, Bobby Kennedy once said:

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

AFGE corruption cases are occurring in higher than ever numbers. The following are copied directly and without any editing from the Labor Department’s Office of Labor Management Standards’ website since my last article in June of 2015 (the date of the last action printed in that article was March 31, 2015). Look at these cases for yourself.

On April 16, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division, Edward Mason, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2274 (located in Saginaw, Mich.), was charged in a one-count information with making false statements in an official certificate or writing, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1018.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On May 11, 2015, 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.), was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $14,234 plus an additional $5,000 fine.  Spade previously paid $44,935 in restitution.  On October 14, 2014, Spade 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 sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

On May 18, 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.), was sentenced to time served and was ordered to pay restitution of $2,640 and a $25 assessment.  On January 21, 2015, Durham pled guilty to one count of knowingly taking and carrying, with the intent to steal, the personal property of another within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On June 10, 2015, 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.), pled guilty to theft within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction in the amount of $44,878, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On July 7, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Curtis Bullick, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3254 (located in Bunker Hill, Ind.), was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $2,107 and a special assessment of $25.  On March 31, 2015, Bullick pled guilty to a one-count information for taking away with 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 follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On August 7, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, Mark P. Durinski, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 294 (located in Limestone, Maine), was charged in a three-count information with making false statements and entries on LM-Reports, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(3).  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On August 31, 2015, in the Hennepin County Court of Minnesota, Dean Johnson, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 899 (located in Minneapolis, Minn.), was charged with one felony count of theft by swindle, in violation of Minnesota Statute 609.52.  The complaint alleges that Johnson stole $2,036 between January 2013 and August 2013.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office and the Minneapolis Airport Police.

On August 31, 2015, in the Hennepin County Court of Minnesota, Edward Barker, former Vice President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 899 (located in Minneapolis, Minn.), was charged with one felony count of theft by swindle, in violation of Minnesota Statute 609.52.  The complaint alleges that Barker stole $1,790 between March 2013 and July 2013.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Minneapolis Resident Investigator Office and the Minneapolis Airport Police.

On September 9, 2015, 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 sentenced to 180 days of home confinement, five years of probation, and was ordered to pay $44,878 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.  On June 10, 2015, Florez pled guilty to 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.  The sentencing following follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans District Office.

On October 19, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (White Plains), William Davis, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1119 (located in Montrose, N.Y.), was indicted on one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343, and two counts of making false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.  The charges follow a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.

On November 10, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Shelly Sutton, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 477 (located in Wichita, Kans.), was indicted on one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344.  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On November 17, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Stephanie Hicks, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2207 (located in Birmingham, Ala.), was sentenced to six months in federal prison, six months of home confinement, and five years of supervised probation.  Hicks was also ordered to pay $83,927 in restitution and a $1,600 fine.  Hicks previously paid restitution in the amount of $8,000.  Hicks pled guilty to eight counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344, and eight counts of passing a forged security, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 513, for a loss of $91,927.  The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.

On December 16, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, Jeffrey W. Davies, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 183 (located in Anchorage, Alaska), was indicted for one count of embezzling over $100,000 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The union members’ past employment history led them to be affiliated with AFGE even though they are not currently federal or state employees.  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anchorage Field Office.

On December 18, 2015, in the Superior Court in the City of Clifton, New Jersey, Sharon Williams-Savage, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2425 (located in East Orange, N.J.), was indicted on two counts of misapplication of entrusted property exceeding $1,000 in the 3rd degree and theft by unlawful taking or disposition exceeding $500 in the 3rd degree between 2008 and 2012, in violation of NJSA 2C:21-15 and 2C:20-3, respectively.  The indictment follows a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and the New Jersey State Criminal Division.

On January 5, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division, Edward Mason, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2274 (located in Saginaw, Mich.), was sentenced to two years of probation and was ordered to pay $21,077 in restitution and a $25 special assessment.  On September 17, 2015, Mason pled guilty to one count of making false statements in an official certificate or writing, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1018.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

On January 20, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Patrick Remigio, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2859 (located in Maricopa, Ariz.), was indicted on eight counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343, and on two counts of false documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.  The charges follow a joint investigation by the OLMS Phoenix Resident Investigator Office, Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On February 17, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Shelly Sutton, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 477 (located in Wichita, Kans.), pled guilty to one count of bank fraud in the amount of $93,094, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344.  The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On February 23, 2016, in the United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Benjamin F. Stancil, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 451 (located in Havelock, N.C.), was charged in an information with four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On April 6, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (White Plains), William Davis, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1119 (located in Montrose, N.Y.), pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.

On May 3, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Marcella Champion, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1831 (located in Washington, D.C.), pled guilty to one count of theft within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661 for stealing $4,130 from the union.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On May 4, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Shelly Sutton, former Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 477 (located in Wichita, Kans.), was sentenced to three months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $78,778.  On February 17, 2016, Sutton pled guilty to one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1344.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On May 17, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, Mark P. Durinski, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 294 (located in Limestone, Maine), was sentenced to one month of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $53,544.  On September 14, 2015, Durinski pled guilty to three counts of making false statements and entries on LM-Reports, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(3).  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On June 7, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, Jeffrey W. Davies, former President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 183 (located in Anchorage, Alaska), pled guilty to one count of embezzling over $90,000 in union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c).  The guilty plea follows a joint investigation by the OLMS San Francisco-Seattle District Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On June 13, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Benjamin Stancil, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 451 (located in Havelock, N.C.), pled guilty to four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343.  The guilty plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On June 22, 2016, in the Dubois Superior Court in Dubois County, Indiana, Carlton Woodcox, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2150 (located in Jasper, Ind.), was charged in a two-count information for theft totaling $32,787, in violation of Indiana Code 35-43-4-2.  The charges follow an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati-Cleveland District Office.

On July 15, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Marcella Champion, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1831 (located in Landover, Md.) was sentenced to nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Champion was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and pay $19,152 in restitution.  Champion had previously paid $2,000 in restitution.  On May 3, 2016, Champion pled guilty to one count of theft within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 661.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On August 12, 2016, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Wanda Rosenboro-Correa, former Secretary-Treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2798 (located in Washington, D.C.), was charged in a one-count indictment with theft within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States for stealing more than $1,000 from the union.  The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

What’s Going On Here?

Since I wrote last year’s article in June of 2015, the Washington Post, reported on August 25, 2015 that it asked AFGE’s national President, “What is your reaction to articles in FedSmith (an online publication), using Labor Department statistics, about problems with AFGE’s elections and criminal misconduct among AFGE officials?”

Answer: I haven’t had a chance to see those articles.”

Really, your union gets reported as being involved in widespread corruption and you haven’t read about it? Is there a room with a sandbox at AFGE HQ one can put one’s head in, if necessary?

Here we are, more than a year later, and AFGE’s indictment and conviction rate is still higher than any other American union and higher than ever before. Some might say that since the nationally elected officials at AFGE owe their jobs to Local Union office holders voting their dues paying member numbers in blocs in the election, there is little payoff for national office seekers in upsetting local union officials. It’s the equivalent of mayors around the country electing the U.S. President by getting to vote of all registered voters in their town in a bloc for the candidate of the Mayor’s choosing. Think America would be more or less corrupt if that was the case?

Another year goes by and the convictions continue to mount up. If it wasn’t for the investigators with integrity and a strong sense of duty at the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, how much member money would disappear? Help me understand something, are these union representatives the same ones Agency management is required by executive order to sit down with and involve in Agency operational decisions pre-decisionally? I guess the thing I find most disgusting is that most of these people are Federal employees getting government time to engage in this activity.

In looking for an appropriate quote to complete this article, the best I found was:

“Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It’s self-defense. It’s patriotism.” -Joe Biden

As always, the above opinions that are mine, are mine alone.

© 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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