×

More Legal Problems Plague the Service Employees International Union

( 3 votes, average: 3.3 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
09/30/10

Today's announcement revealed at least two officials with the union met with investigators on multiple occasions this year. The SEIU, which has more than 2.2 million members, has been the target of several investigations over the past few years. Tyrone Freeman, who was the head of one of California's largest union chapters, was fired in 2008 for misappropriation of funds. He was ordered to repay the money, but no criminal charges were ever brought against him. Stern may not be so fortunate, even though he resigned recently. His reasons were that he wished to have more personal time. He remains on President Obama's deficit commission and is often seen at White House dinners. He is also a research specialist at Georgetown University.



Simon & Schuster, a New York publishing house, paid Stern a $175,000 book advance, which Stern pocketed. He then bought thousands of copies of the book using union money, according to the FBI. Further, he ordered the union to shoulder the costs associated with promoting the book and fact checking it prior to its publication. Investigators believe the advance should have covered those costs. One union spokesperson said the union used its own discretion and the decision to purchase copies of the book was in no way influenced by Stern. The publishing company has said Stern received no royalties from those copies purchased by the union. The total amount Stern received for penning A Country that Works has not been released by either Stern or Simon & Schuster.

Stern is also being investigated for approving a salary for a past Los Angeles county union leader who was fired after it was discovered he embezzled more than $50,000. Alejandro Stephens has since been sentenced to four months in jail, three months monitored supervision upon his release and has been ordered to repay approximately $52,000 he stole from his chapter. The FBI believes Stephens accepted money from Stern after his termination and now it wants to know why.

Some believe these charges were strategically timed by federal investigators to coincide with the upcoming elections, which the union is tapped to spend more than $44 million in an effort to keep certain Democrats in place.

Ironically, Stern serves as the chairman for the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics. CBS News once referred to him as ''the most important labor boss in America''.

The SEIU released a statement via spokesperson Michelle Ringuette:
Today, there are media reports based on the allegations of two anonymous union officials that claim Andy Stern is under investigation by the FBI in relation to Alejandro Stephens and the publication of A Country That Works. To our knowledge, this is flat out false.''
The FBI confirmed its investigation.

For now, Stern's lawyer is saying he is cooperating fully with authorities on any level and reiterates he's done nothing illegal or unethical.


Featured Testimonials

LawCrossing is an excellent service. It has provided me a lot of help in my job search. Great website!
James


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #35: LawCrossing’s goal is to showcase the largest collection of law jobs at all times.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

I’ve used LawCrossing for years and I think it is terrific. The search features work very well and bring back extremely relevant results. I think it is exactly what it should be.
  • Karen Crupi Highlands Beach, FL