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Proviso Probe

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Maywood trustee Rich Lopez indicted for rigging union election

Village of Maywood trustee Rich Lopez has be indicted for illegally influencing the election of officers in Teamsters Local 743. Lopez has been a Maywood trustee since April, 2005 and is part of the majority block aligned with village president Henderson Yarbrough.

Lopez was also elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 743 in 2005. Secretary-treasurer is usually the #2 position in a local. Lopez ascended to be the president of the local when President Robert Walston retired on August 31, 2007. See Local 743 press release (pdf).

From the U.S. Attorney, Northern Illinois District, press release (pdf).
The indictment alleges that between August and December 2004, Lopez, Mosley, Jones and Rodriguez, together with others, engaged in a scheme to rig the election by diverting official ballot packages to the defendants' friends, family and associates, and casting the ballots or causing them to be cast in both the October and December elections for incumbent officers, known as the "Unity Slate," to ensure their election. The defendants and others allegedly caused the addresses of certain Local 743 members to be changed in union records so that official ballot packages would be diverted in the mail to their friends, family and associates, rather then being delivered to Local 743 members in good standing who were eligible to vote in those elections. The defendants and others allegedly caused the addresses of Local 743 members in a computer database to be changed from the members' previously recorded addresses to new addresses collected and provided by the defendants that in fact belonged to their friends, family and confidantes. The defendants then allegedly collected the fraudulently delivered ballot packages, and the ballots later were cast or caused to be cast in favor of the incumbent slate of officers.

[UPDATE: You can read the indictment on the U.S. Attorney's website (pdf).]

[UPDATE2: Sun-Times (Dave Newbart) covered the story.

[A union friend told me that he expected Local 743 to be put into trusteeship as a result of these charges. When the Department of Labor has enough evidence to file an indictment it results in the larger union (in this case the Teamsters) placing the local into trusteeship. The officers are removed and the larger union appoints some outsiders to serve as caretakers while the local reorganizes and installs a non-corrupt regime.]

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1 Comments:

  • Some years back I was A 743 member working at a WAREHOUSE for about 8.50 hr. '92. I remember the BA's would show up driving decked-out cars. They wern't real they were all to friendly to the management. At contract time they would tell us this is the best that they could do and if we striked we should have our health insurance payment ready. They only thought
    about how they could maintain their control. I guess it's no different at the top.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 PM, September 10, 2007  

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