• Former secretary-treasurer of the Ohio and Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters, Robert Peto, plead guilty to six counts of conspiracy, bribe-taking, and witness tampering in a federal court in Ohio. Petro admitted that he took gifts, including free flights and football tickets, in exchange for taking official actions as secretary-treasurer that benefited friends and business associates.
  • Ronald Witt, former business manager of Operating Engineers Local 450 in Houston, will pay $198,333 in restitution and serve one year in prison after pleading guilty to participating in an embezzlement conspiracy through which Witt stole nearly $200,000 and used union funds to pay a painting company that performed work at his home.
  • Members of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 501, which represents workers in Southern California and southern Nevada, have filed a federal class action lawsuit in California seeking more than $7.5 million from union officers, claiming that the officers embezzled millions of dollars and prevented members from selecting their own officers. The lawsuit identifies at least 15 IUOE officers who the members claim have embezzled union funds to pay for personal expenses and engaged in racketeering and kickback schemes benefitting business associates.
  • James J. Kearney Sr., former business manager for Iron Workers Local 45 in Jersey City, New Jersey, pled guilty to demanding and accepting a bribe from a contractor who wanted to use nonunion workers at a construction project. Kearney was sentenced in New Jersey federal court to six months in prison or a halfway house and ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and $13,000 in restitution.
  • The Teamsters placed IBT Local 120 under emergency trusteeship and removed the top local leaders following a recommendation by IBT’s Independent Review Board. The Board cited evidence that Local 120’s president, Brad A. Slawson Jr., and secretary-treasurer, Brad D. Slawson Sr., committed numerous violations of Local bylaws, paid themselves with union funds and failed to maintain required records. The Board also alleged suspicious costs associated with the Local’s $4 million land purchase and hall construction in 2007-2008. IBT Local 120 represents approximately 11,600 workers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.
  • IBEW Local 164 (Paramus, New Jersey) business manager, Richard Dressel, and president, John DeBouter, were arrested in connection with an alleged embezzlement scheme that defrauded the union and its apprentice training fund of $350,000. According to federal prosecutors, Dressel awarded his girlfriend no-bid contracts to provide services at the union hall and “hired” her as a member of his staff so she could receive benefits and a $86,000 salary while not performing any actual work. DeBouter then assisted Dressel by conspiring to cover up the scheme.