Wisconsin Union Admits Padding Anti-Walker Hours
Remember when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had to win a recall election because he was trying to reduce the power of Wisconsin’s public employee unions? A new revelation shows Walker’s sentiments were exactly on the money: one of the main public unions in Wisconsin, The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998, is under investigation by the Department of Labor for illegally padding the number of hours their employees worked during the recall so the union could pad its own coffers, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
The union, which represents bus drivers, has fired Alan Simonis as president of the local and Patrick Clemens as its secretary-treasurer because of their "financial malfeasance and nonfeasance while in office." The ATU is charging the two men with overstating the hours their employees worked. In addition to the padding of hours, the two men are accused of abusing the use of credit cards and moving funds from account to account.
The exaggeration of hours worked by employees netted the local a sizable sum of money, as the international office of the union reimbursed the local for 100% of their costs. Rick Bassler, the acting president of the local, said he didn’t know how much money was gained, but he has nixed the use of credit cards by his union staff. He emphasized that the investigation found that he and the acting secretary-treasurer, Cassandra Cobb, were innocent of any wrongdoing.
Marcellus Barnes, one of the vice-presidents of the ATU vice president, is scheduled to offer an explanation for the misdeeds and subsequent removal of Simonis and Clemens on Thursday.