requested a criminal investigation into his alleged financial corruption, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
According to the newspaper:
Cope faces an inquiry from the State Bureau of Investigation for his handling of SEANC finances. The national union with which SEANC is affiliated, the Service Employees International Union, said it is taking the allegations of financial misconduct seriously.
Cope resigned just two days after the News and Observer published an article about his alleged financial corruption. SEANC, which is known as “SEIU Local 2008,” represents approximately 55,000 current and retired North Carolina State employees.
Cope is an example of SEIU’s so-called “21st century unionism.” Just like Andy Stern and Dave Regan, Cope is way more "business" than "labor." For example, Cope was a Vice-President of the Texas Future Business Leaders and has carefully transformed SEANC into an insurance company that only masquerades as a union.
In fact, Cope’s corruption scandal was uncovered by a union member who criticized one of Cope’s latest schemes, whereby union members purchase consumer electronics by paycheck deduction at elevated prices.
In an earlier post, Tasty revealed an internal SEIU memo that reports that SEANC’s "primary function" is "selling insurance." The memo notes that SEANC’s staff consists of 14 insurance salespeople… and only 3 union representatives for its 55,000 members.
As far as the breaking news about Cope's corruption scandal...
According to an investigation published earlier this week by the News and Observer, Cope improperly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union's bank account into his own pocket by using a creative maneuver. He hired construction and landscaping companies to renovate his home, and then instructed union staffers to hire the exact same companies and pay them more than $350,000 for apparently no-show projects.
There were also phony invoices. “One check for nearly $19,000 was justified by a phony invoice and was made out to a defunct computer company,” according to the News and Observer, which also reports the following:
Cope and SEANC’s general counsel admit the memo is phony but will not explain beyond saying it’s a personnel matter.
Oh, and there's also the personal flying lessons. It turns out that Cope really likes flying planes. So… Cope had SEIU members pay $21,000 for his flight school, according to the News and Observer.
So why were SEIU members paying for Cope’s flying lessons? Cope told the News and Observer ‘it allows him to fly with a flight instructor and to travel cheaply and efficiently on SEANC business.’ That's some serious bullsh*t, right?
And it sounds like more skeletons will soon come tumbling out of Cope's overcrowded closet.
According to the News and Observer, SEIU allowed Cope "to put thousands of dollars of personal spending each year on SEANC credit cards. Cope has given contradictory accounts about how much of the money he has repaid…”
One of the expenses that Cope charged to the union's credit card is "eyebrow waxing," according to the News and Observer.
Meanwhile, Cope has a history of problems with credit cards. Like buying too much sh*t with them. The newspaper reports that, in 2011, Cope filed for personal bankruptcy to wipe out $109,000 in credit-card debt.
As the scandal unfolded in the press this week, Cope vigorously defended his home repairs, flying lessons, credit card bills, etc. as harmless and above-board. However, once the district attorney asked the State Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal inquiry into his spending, Cope decided to throw in the towel.
Yesterday, he held a 90-second press conference and all but admitted his guilt, saying:
“In recent days, I’ve come to realize that in carrying out the duties of my job, I have blurred the line between my personal life and my professional life.”
Cope has close ties to SEIU’s top officials.
Not only has he served on SEIU’s IEB for seven years with the likes of “Diamond" Dave Regan and David “See you at the races” Holway, but he reportedly worked with Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Tom Woodruff and Mary Kay Henry to negotiate SEANC’s 2008 merger with SEIU.
At SEIU’s International Convention in 2008, Andy Stern used a ridiculous gimmick to announce that the merger with 55,000-member SEANC had helped boost SEIU’s membership to more than 2 million members.
Which SEIU has kindly memorialized in a YouTube video.