Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Allow Us to Retort, With the Facts

We were criticized recently for pointing out that a government official accused of stealing public employee money was also hired by AFSCME — a union for public employees. Even though they mention it, the AFL-CIO seems to have downplayed the importance of this part of the story:

And troubles may not be over for Torrecillas and the city’s 1,800 employees. The local branch of the union that represents Hialeah employees — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — also used Torrecillas as an accountant.

Apparently it’s not OK to mention corruption that hurts union members unless the union official is harming them in his official union capacity. So, for our friends over at the AFL-CIO, who have done a less-than-bang-up job getting rid of corruption from the labor movement, here’s some news from Jersey:

A former labor attorney pleaded guilty yesterday in a scam set up by a convicted union officer to split $1.8 million in health insurance commissions.

John Gregory Lynch, 63, of New York, faces disbarrment in the scheme that involved the Professional Employee’s Guild, a small, now-dissolved, unaffiliated union based in Hackensack that represents real estate brokers, retail workers and municipal employees.

Lynch, who was initially charged with embezzlement, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to a reduced charge of employing a barred union officer as a consultant.

According to federal prosecutors, the union was created in 1999 by one-time labor official John Kraemer, now deceased, after he was convicted in 1987 and again in 2000 for embezzlement from another union — Local 29 of the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Workers Union, an AFL-CIO local also based in Hackensack.

Categories: Crime & Corruption