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Latest News - May 2015

May 4, 2015
Feds file complaint against union local once victimized by embezzlement
Source: MLIVE.COM
By: GARY RIDLEY

DURAND, MI -- A Shiawassee County labor union once at the center of an embezzlement scheme is again under the scrutiny of federal officials after the Department of Labor claimed it failed to file required financial reports.

The U.S. Department of Labor filed a federal complaint April 28 in Detroit U.S. District Court against Durand-based Communications Workers of America Local 84555 after, the department claims, the local failed to file its annual financial report with the government.

Federal law requires the local to file its report within 90 days of the end of its 2014 fiscal year.

The Department of Labor claims the report was required to be submitted no later than June 29, 2014. Government records show the report still had not been filed as of Monday, May 4.

The report spells out how much money the organization brought in, its expenditures and how many members it includes.

The government's complaint claims the local has neglected or refused to file the report despite repeated requests by the Department of Labor.

The local has also been untimely in filing its reports since 2008, the complaint alleges. One such report was filed 720 days late and the average delay has been more than 547 days, according to the government's filing.

Department of Labor officials declined to comment on the specifics of the case, citing the pending litigation.

Local representatives could not be reached for comment on the complaint. The local has no attorney on file and it has not yet filed a response to the allegations, according to court records.

The local last filed its 2012 and 2013 annual reports on Oct. 28, 2014, according to government records.

In its 2013 filing, the local reported nearly 200 members and more than $65,000 in assets.

The government's allegations come less than two years after two of the local's officers were sentenced to federal prison for embezzling money from the union.

Former local President James Killingsworth and his then wife, former union Secretary-Treasurer Billie Jo Killingsworth, were sentenced in June 2013 to six months in prison after they pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from fellow union members.

The pair, who are now divorced, admitted that they made more than $19,000 in illegal cash withdrawals from the local's bank account and used the money for  personal expenses.

Both were released from federal custody March 3, 2014, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Department of Labor officials declined to comment on if the reporting allegations are connected to the embezzlement case.

The Communications Workers of America represents more than 700,000 people across the country, including those who work in telecommunications, broadcasting, cable TV, journalism, publishing, manufacturing, airlines, customer service, government service, health care and education.

Union officials could not be reached for comment.

 

 

 


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