Tricks And Ill-Gotten Treats Of Union Corruption
Much like union officials can’t resist the cookie jar, it’s hard to resist feeling satisfaction when corruption doesn’t go unpunished. Here’s a fresh batch of bad behavior:
- An ex-leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers faces prosecution for snatching $80,000 from union coffers and indulging in first-class international travel, luxury goods, and cars. In addition, Brian Ahakuelo allegedly hired several family members and paid them six figures apiece. The feds must have had a ball with those 70 counts of white collar thievery.
- Former Teamsters Chicago boss John T. Coli Sr. whipped up a racket and received a 19-month prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea on extortion charges that (at least partially) stem from his associations with Senenator Thomas Cullerton, who’s currently serving a year-long sentence for embezzlement after he drew a salary from the union. Coli previously vowed to never talk about his extorting ways, but times have changed.
- An ex-local president of a government employees’ union got whacked with federal grand jury indictments on a number of fraud-related charges. This includes allegedly embezzling at least five digits full of union funds for lavish shopping sprees of guns, jewelry, fine dining, and good old fashioned groceries.
- A Teamsters local received lawsuit papers from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the grounds that its business agent sexually harassed a female UPS supervisor. The business agent received probation after entering a guilty plea, but the Teamsters won’t get off the hook that easily, especially considering evidence that union officials knew of the business agent’s unsavory behavior and didn’t take steps to remediate it.