Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feds Pursue Criminal Charges against SEIU’s Tyrone Freeman

Tasty has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice is quietly pursuing criminal charges against Tyrone Freeman for stealing more than $1 million from SEIU members in Los Angeles. Freeman is the faithful ally of Andy Stern and Mary Kay Henry who helped launch SEIU’s attack against SEIU-UHW after Stern appointed him as the President of SEIU Local 6434.

Things were going fine for Freeman and SEIU until 2008, when the Los Angeles Times broke a headline-grabbing story about Freeman’s massive corruption scandal. SEIU was forced to remove Freeman from his position and file a half-hearted lawsuit to recover the money he'd stolen. Since then, SEIU has shown little interest in pursuing the lawsuit, which has languished among stacks of dusty records at the courthouse.

Fortunately, in February the feds jumped onto the case. That’s when the U.S. Department of Justice asked a Superior Court judge to intervene in SEIU's civil lawsuit against Freeman so the feds could prepare "criminal proceedings" against Freeman, according to these court records. The judge placed key filings by the feds "under seal.”

In August, the judge gave the feds five more months to prepare their criminal charges, according to this court filing. On January 12, Freeman's attorneys are scheduled to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court for a "status conference" on the feds' criminal investigation as well as the separate civil lawsuit against Freeman.

Tasty hears that SEIU officials are plenty nervous about the feds’ criminal investigation. Why? Well, there's boatloads of evidence that top SEIU officials -- including Eliseo Medina, Steve Trossman, Jim Philliou, Dave Kieffer, Andy Stern and Mary Kay Henry -- knew about Freeman's corruption for seven years before the Los Angeles Times exposed it to the world. In fact, in 2001, Steve Trossman (who currently serves as SEIU-UHW’s Communications Director) reportedly played a key role in hiding Freeman's crimes from SEIU's members and the public, according to this article in the Los Angeles Times.

Tasty hears that SEIU officials are especially nervous that new details will emerge if Freeman takes the stand to try to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. Meanwhile, many SEIU members are hoping that officials inside the Purple Palace will finally pay the price for assisting Freeman in stealing more than a million dollars of low-wage workers' hard-earned money!