This just gets better and better. You’ll recall our recent focus on the abuse of funds and influence peddling by California Service Employee International Union (SEIU) head Tyrone Freeman being investigated in depth by the L.A.Times and how Mr. Freeman has been funneling union contracts to his family members. Now a related investigation in Michigan has revealed that one of Freeman’s former associates has had to step down from a Michigan SEIU post because of similar financial misdeeds there.
Once again the L.A. Times is the source for this sad tale of union bosses abusing the power so blindly handed them by the rank and file.
It appears that Rickman Jackson, former chief of staff for the California organization headed by Tyrone Freeman, had to step down from a Michigan SEIU local when it was discovered that he and Freeman had set up a shady housing corporation that was improperly getting business from Freeman’s California organization.
Both departures followed reports in The Times that the local and a related charity paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and mother-in-law of its president, Tyrone Freeman, and spent similar sums on a Four Seasons Resorts golf tournament, restaurants such as Morton’s steakhouse, a Beverly Hills cigar lounge and a Hollywood talent agency.
The Times also disclosed that a housing corporation Freeman helped launch used the address of a Bell Gardens home that property records show is owned by Jackson. Freeman, Jackson and housing corporation representatives have declined to say whether Jackson was paid for any use of his residence.
This scandal is getting bigger by the week.
For his part, SEIU President Andy Stern claims to be shocked by all these illicit actions of his protege, Freeman and his web of corruption.
Stern has used the cover of this scandal to move against one of his chief rivals in his own union by announcing that the officers under Sal Rosselli will be dismissed and his local put in trusteeship by the SEIU’s national offices.
The president of the Oakland organization, Sal Rosselli, denied the allegations Monday. He said the trusteeship move was an attempt to deflect attention from the spending inquiry in Los Angeles and now Michigan, and to punish him for fighting the 2-year-old proposal to transfer his members to Freeman’s local.
So, on top of exposing the corruption of Freeman and his associates and relatives, we find Andy Stern indulging in his favorite pass time as iron-fisted SEIU ruler from the top down.
Scandals to the right of me, scandals to the left of me, into the valley of tyrants rides the president of the SEIU!
Go on over to the L.A. Times for all the dirt.
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