Is there anything less shocking than a union boss being crooked?
Via LA Times:
The former president of California’s biggest union local was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison for stealing from his low-income members to finance an expensive lifestyle that included being married to two women at the same time.
Declaring that Tyrone Freeman betrayed the “sacred trust” of the workers he represented, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins also ordered him pay to about $150,000 in restitution and barred him from holding office in any union for 13 years after he is released from prison.
“He lost sight of his mission,” Collins said of Freeman, once a rising star in the national labor movement who headed a Los Angeles-based local of the powerful Service Employees International Union.
Before Collins imposed the sentence, Freeman stood before the judge and cried as he asked for leniency, acknowledging that his “bad decisions” hurt the workers and his family.
“May God have mercy on me,” said Freeman, 44, wearing a dark business suit. “I am accountable for these bad decisions.”
The case grew out of a series of Times reports on Freeman’s financial practices as president of SEIU Local 6434. Beginning in 2008, the stories focused on his actions to direct tens of thousands of dollars from the union and a related nonprofit to relatives and friends, in addition to his lavish spending on a Four Seasons Resort golf tournament, restaurants and a Beverly Hills cigar club.
The resulting scandal quickly cost Freeman his job and rippled through the SEIU, leading to the ouster of several other union officials.