Friday, November 10, 2017

SEIU’s Tyrone Freeman: Entrepreneur of the Year

Since Tasty’s recent post about Tyrone Freeman, several readers have spotted him in Los Angeles.

What’s Ty up to these days?

Well, it looks like he’s taken a page out of Andy Stern’s “entrepreneurial” playbook.

Freeman, who formerly headed the nation’s largest union of homecare workers (SEIU Local 6434), is now running a consulting firm to help homecare companies make more profit.

No joke.

Tyrone’s firm is called Maven Innovative Consultancy, LLC. The company’s homepage has images like this:

And this:

But wait a sec. Tasty thought Tyrone wanted to defend workers?


His website says,
“Mr. Freeman specializes in the defense of small business, in the full range of business matters, including advising business owners. In addition, Mr. Freeman is an Executive with substantial business development, management/leadership experience. High premium on providing cost saving management practices… operational cost saving… Maven Innovative Consultancy, LLC – a boutique consulting firm specializing in the exclusive representation of management in business affairs. A large portion of the Firm’s clients are home care agencies and other health-care related employers.”

Tyrone says he’s a “specialist” in “housing development strategies.”

That’s interesting.

When Freeman was the president of SEIU Local 6434 and also a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board, he set up a housing scam that helped land him in jail.

In 2004, Freeman set up a nonprofit housing organization called the “Long Term Care Housing Corp” to supposedly build housing for low-income workers.

Only… it didn’t.

Freeman, who controlled the organization, listed the home of one of his aides, Rickman Jackson, as the organization’s administrative office. Ty then paid Jackson tens of thousands of dollars in “rent,” which Jackson pocketed.

Btw, despite stealing $33,000 from workers, Jackson is still on SEIU’s payroll to this day.

That’s not all.

Freeman also had the housing organization hire him as a “consultant” and pay him tens of thousands of dollars of the in consulting fees, according to an SEIU report described by the Los Angeles Times. (Paul Pringle, “Union-founded nonprofit spent zero on its charitable purpose in two years,” Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2008)

In other words, Freeman is quite an expert in “housing development strategies.”

Which brings us to the elephant in the room.

Why did SEIU’s top officials reportedly devise a scheme to secretly fund Freeman’s legal defense after he was indicted in February 2012 for stealing millions of dollars from SEIU’s own members?

In 2008 -- after the Los Angeles Times published a series of revelations about Freeman’s corruption (remember the Grand Havana Room cigar club?) -- SEIU officials ousted Freeman, banned him for life from SEIU membership, and ordered him to pay back more than $1 million in money he stole from SEIU’s members.

Tasty bets dollars to donuts that Freeman never paid back the $1 million.

So… why the f*ck did SEIU officials secretly give him six and seven figures to fund his criminal defense?

What role did Andy Stern play in the secret payments? What about Mary Kay Henry? She became president of SEIU on May 8, 2010 and presumably was involved in funding Freeman’s legal defense until his appeal was dismissed in October 2014.

SEIU officials are struggling with the union’s widening sexual harassment scandal. They also need to investigate the massive ethical questions swirling around the Freeman scandal. For example, did SEIU officials commit conflict-of-interest violations by diverting SEIU cash to Freeman in order to buy his silence about their involvement in his crimes?

Workers have enough problems with greedy bosses and corrupt politicians. They deserve democratic, transparent and accountable unions. It's time for SEIU to come clean.