Friday, December 30, 2016

SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry Removes President of SEIU Local 99

In early December, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry removed SEIU Local 99 President Barbara Torres from office and suspended her membership in SEIU for four years, according to notices distributed to union members and also available online. Henry also removed a second officer, Executive Board member Jacqueline Brown, and appointed Eliseo Medina to serve as a “monitor” of Local 99.  

Based in Los Angeles, SEIU Local 99 represents 25,000 public school workers.

According to SEIU, the actions came after “a thorough investigation and hearing by SEIU International” that reportedly was prompted by charges against union officials.

In October, SEIU’s International Executive Board held two days of hearings in Las Vegas to investigate separate charges filed against the top leaders of SEIU Local 1107, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Local 1107 represents approximately 9000 workers in Nevada.

Eliseo Medina’s assignment to Local 99 is his second such gig in a handful of months. In August, Henry appointed Medina as the “trustee” of SEIU Local 73 after she imposed a trusteeship on the Chicago-based union, which represents 25,000 public-sector workers in Illinois and northwestern Indiana.
Medina addressing Local number 73 members in Chicago

Readers may recall that Local 99 has a troubled history of scandals and corruption by its top officials.

In 2004, Andy Stern appointed Bill Lloyd as the trustee of Local 99.

Lloyd, who subsequently took on the job of Local 99's Executive Director, pocketed no fewer than three separate paychecks from SEIU totaling $224,000 a year along with multiple perks including an eight-year-long, SEIU-paid hotel room at the Wilshire Grande Hotel.

Lloyd is also known for his infamous sexual affair with Local 99’s then-president, Janett Humphries, at the same time that she was embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the union's members. In 2006, Humprhies pleaded guilty in federal court to four counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy.

Steve Trossman -- who reportedly covered up Tyrone Freeman’s million-dollar theft from SEIU members for years -- also did damage control for Lloyd. Trossman now works for Dave Regan as SEIU-UHW’s "Communications Director."

In 2012, Lloyd silently disappeared from his job as the Executive Director of Local 99.

Max Arias currently serves as Local 99’s Executive Director. Arias, a former staffer at SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana, parachuted into California in 2009 as part of SEIU’s trusteeship of SEIU-UHW. Arias was initially assigned to nursing homes, where workers reported about his disrespectful attitude towards workers.