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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tyrone Freeman steps aside as President of SEIU 6434

Was it the excessive hike in the dues of the working poor that make up the rank and file of his local? It could of been those allocation of dues money to dubious ventures by family members. Or simply, it was that cigar party.

But once the Los Angeles Times went on the "investigated path" with their reporting it was only time before Tyrone Freeman had to make this choice, thus his decision to step aside as President of SEIU's largest California Local pending resolution of various investigations.
From today's LA Times.
The head of California's largest union local has stepped aside in the wake of Times reports that the organization and a related charity paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by his wife and mother-in-law.Tyrone Freeman, president of a Service Employees International Union chapter in Los Angeles, said in a written statement late Wednesday that he was taking a leave of absence and that the local would be placed in a temporary trusteeship.

"In order to ensure that any investigation of the allegations is fair and free from any question of interference or influence, I am taking a leave of absence effective immediately for the duration of the investigation," the statement said. "I believe these steps will allow our union to continue to serve the best interests of our membership during this time.
"The statement was released by the Washington, D.C., office of SEIU President Andy Stern, who nurtured Freeman's career as the 160,000-member local grew dramatically in recent years, largely through consolidations.
"These allegations are of serious concern to all of us and we support Mr. Freeman's decision to put the best interests of the members first," Stern spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said in an e-mail.
Judging from the numerous and insightful comments posted here, this investigation will have the attention of both, in house and outside observers of the union community.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Red Spot to step in and take over, oh wait, he has never worked a day in his life and continues to collect his govment paycheck.

Keep the ghost of Goldwater spinning in his grave Red.

August 21, 2008 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you're wanting me to comment on whether or not it should be illegal for union officials to grant lucrative contracts to family members or cronies

That's way above my pay grade.

August 21, 2008 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's unfortunate that the majority of people don't get it. There is a major move in Los Angeles to target people of color in positions of influence. This is called selective prosecution and persecution. The LA Times only goes after people of color and there should be an immediate boycott of the paper. One has to wonder each time you pick up the paper why are there only investigative pieces on high profile people of color. Say what you want about the allegations concerning Tyrone Freeman, the bottom line is, he was a player in local, state and national politics. There are those who don't care for someone with that much influence and especially if that person is of color. It's no accident that Rocky is now under a cloud, look what happenned to the pay to play investigation, the only one netted was someone of color. Does that make any sense? Let's not be fooled about what is really happenning here. The Times is a racist paper working to rid of those in positions of influence that happen to be people of color. This isn't the race card as some claim. The truth is the truth and LA is transforming. Whites are moving back in to the city and displacing the poor and working class. And all of a sudden, there is also a target to take over leadership positons. Think about it, oh by the way....Laura Chick is no angel, she is the biggest instigator and should be audited herself. When you point at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you.

August 21, 2008 10:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The most heartbroken about Tyrone's demise are the nursing home bosses.
It was only a matter of time before Stern forced Tyrone to make this move - remember, Tyrone wanted to do a full Nixon (with retaliation, loyalty oaths and all).
They had to try to get the scandal off the front pages, and let the Stern-Burger cover-up team figure out how to salvage the situation so that they themselves don't go down the toilet with Tyrone.
Remember, the real corruption is not Tyrone paying himself an exorbitant salary and stealing from the members; plenty of Stern's cronies do that. The real corruption is Stern's plan to turn SEIU into a company union for the for-profit nursing home industry by trading away the workers' rights in return for the nursing home bosses letting SEIU "organize" their employees without the usual vicious resistance.
These arrangements, the so-called 'template' agreements, are sweetheart deals that allow the nursing home bosses to decide which and how many of their sites can be "organized", severely restrict the woekers' role in advocating for the patients, provide very limited benefits (through Tyrone's bogus health plan), and allow the bosses to unilaterally cut wages if the union doesn't deliver on legislative goals such as limiting patients and families' right to sue for lousy care or when the nursing homes kill the patients. No wonder Stern, Freeman, and the nursing home bosses are colluding to force all California nursing home workers into Freeman's racketeer union!
There's a lot more at stake here than Tyrone Freeman's thievery.
For the nation's elderly, it's a matter of life and death.

August 21, 2008 11:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To those who persist in casting this corruption scandal as the LA Times going after an African American leader:
The majority of people do get it; it's you that don't get it. The victims of the Freeman-Stern corruption are almost all low income people of color (African-American, Asian, Latino) mostly women. This con artist was exploiting and embezzling from the most vulnerable workers while pretending to be their hero. This is truly one of the more shameful examples of poverty pimping in the labor movement. For anyone to try to defend Tyrone Freeman's actions or his character by accusing others of racism is really an insult to those thousands of low income people of color whose hard earned dues dollars were stolen by these jokers. Shame on you!

August 21, 2008 11:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who is his wife and other relatives? Did they have legitimate businesses?

August 21, 2008 12:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"There is a major move in Los Angeles to target people of color in positions of influence. This is called selective prosecution and persecution"
This has got to be the lamest excuse I have ever heard! In other words, the actions of minorities in position of power should not be looked at in view of Jurisprudence when it comes to breaking the law, because of their color and judged differently right? Well if that aint racism, I dont know what is. Bottome line here, is he is being audited right now and the international is checking the books, ufortunately, the numbers dont add up. Tyrone had power, blatenly abused it and must now pay for his actions. Your day has come tyrone, fes up and take your medicine. Rocky! your next mijo!!

August 21, 2008 1:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:35 has it right.

August 21, 2008 5:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So it's official, as reported today in both the LA Times and the NY Times: Tyrone is out. Many have asked why it took so long, especially since the first story of Tyrone's corruption was reported back on August 9. Turns out, according to sources, that SEIU President Andy Stern was over in China enjoying the olympics (on the members' dime, I'm sure). And maybe that's the real story here: there is, among SEIU's national leaders, a culture that says they can use the members' money for whatever purpose they want. Of course Tyrone is responsible for this corruption that has been uncovered. But so is Andy Stern! For crying out loud, Stern was Tyrone's mentor every step of the way. From that small local union in Georgia to Los Angeles, where Stern appointed Tyrone to head the second biggest SEIU local in the United States. WHAT DID STERN TEACH TYRONE? Of course Stern knew what was going on. And while Tyrone is gone, Stern and his culture of corruption remains. Anything goes as long as you don't get caught (and you are loyal to Stern).

Speaking of China (and the misuse of members' money) SEIU spent over $125,000 alone on airline tickets to China in 2007. We know this because these expenditures are listed in the government forms that SEIU is required to file with the government each year. What is Stern doing in China to help SEIU members? Where is the benefit? It is a well known fact that Stern loves to travel to China, and maybe that's benefit enough...

By the way, do you remember in the first LA Times article on August 9, Steve Trossman, Stern's national communications director stated that this was the first time they had received any allegations regarding Tyrone's bad behavior? Well turns out this is yet another SEIU lie. In Sunday's Times article, an unidentified source said that SEIU leaders have known about Tyrone's corruption for years, and that Trossman himself had talked a Times reporter out of writing a story about it way back in 2002. Trossman admits talking to a Times reporter about it, but can't remember much else, INCLUDING WHETHER OR NOT HE TOLD STERN ABOUT THE CORRUPTION. Right...More to come....

August 21, 2008 9:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:35, you've GOT to be kidding! Stealing is stealing regardless of who's doing it.
11:47 you have it right.
1:22 (Cruz), the SEIU is slick! They rip you off and have you convinced it's racism once they're caught. Don't let'm DO it to you, primo, unless you think it's right to rip off the poor and like to do it too. BTW, the SEIU is likely to keep doing it to you (increasing the dues) until the locals split off from the national and the members take control (or get rid) of their leaders, the SEIU won't get any better. You can start the cleansing by removing Grajeda & Butcher.
Maybe it's time to picket their offices.
9:30, I want to go to China. Julie B, where do I get the forms?

Hasta mañana, compadre.

August 21, 2008 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For more information, check out Uprising Radio, REFORM SEIU, SEIU Election Rigging, SEIU/Butcher: Revenge on MCIA, SEIU Battles, MayorSam 071201archive, MayorSam SEIU6434, SacBee014636, LATimes080817, indymedia and $150M for Politics, to start.

August 21, 2008 10:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Crooks are crooks no matter what color or race. SEIU has already notably shown itself to be one of the most corrupt unions in existence (just research the Internet). They are not interesting in improving anything but how much money they are raking in. Their officials have been caught time and again misusing funds or skimming them off for relatives and cronies. Remember Divaraigosa used to work for this corrupt union. Right now they are trying to infiltrate and subvert the Engineers & Architects Union, not because of any altruistic intentions to "Help" the workers, but to get their hands on even more money. Low-class, unethical criminal organization with ties to equally corrupt, morally bankrupt politicians.

August 22, 2008 6:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Targeting people of color?? What a joke! So, according to this asinine logic any person of color or any other so-called minority is exempt from any criminal investigation?? This is ludicrously laughable, but the hallmark of our PC society.

August 22, 2008 6:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Purple Sleaze (A contemporary rock song)

(Sung to the tune of Purple Haze)

Purple Sleaze, all on my brain;
Lately things don’t seem the same!
It ain’t funny; it’s a doggone shame;
Scuuuse me while I change my name!

(guitar lead here)

Purple Sleaze, it’s in the news;
Jokers stole the workers’ dues;
The Union boss is no stand-up guy;
Join me now, and say “bye, Ty!”

(more guitar here)

(Apologies to Jimi Hendrix)

August 22, 2008 12:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are two sides to all stories and you're simply out of your mind and have zero political savvy if you dont think there is a political purpose behind the recent "investigation" of Tyrone Freeman. While I am objective enough to acknowledge that the cigar bar and the like were entirely improper expenditures, one has no choice but to question who stands to benefit from Freeman's eventual downfall? My guess is someone vying for his members or his post.

August 25, 2008 4:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

RJEsq, you are right that someone will benefit from Freeman's downfall. Namely:
1. The dues paying homecare worker members of his local making just $9per hour whose dues he will no longer be able to steal.
2. The thousands of nursing home workers in the for-profit nursing home industry that he will no longer be able to sell out in his sweetheart deals.

The only reason Stern is "investigating" is that the matter had gotten out of hand and Stern has to cover his own butt. Freeman didn't just start embezzling this year; Stern should have known, had to have known this was going on, but he chose to look the other way because Freeman was totally dependent on IU staff to keep his dysfunctional operation afloat and was a key player in Stern's move to turn SEIU into a company union for the for-profit nursing home industry nationwide.
With this corruption scandal spreading to Michigan and Rickman Jackson taking a 'leave of absence', and Annelle Grajeda os SEIU 721 also facing corruption charges, look for Stern to make increasingly desperate and outrageous charges against his critics in SEIU and other unions.
Just watch.

August 26, 2008 10:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's a shame that Freeman (and I'm guessing the other "troubled" leaders) are still being paid while "on leave". Few nursing home workers under investigation for stealing or abuse would be!

August 27, 2008 3:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yes indeed our ex President Tyrone has stepped down from his position while the investigation continues... but it's not over...I am sure he is still getting paid while on his leave of absence and my guess is that he is going to hire some Fancy Attorney (if he hasn't already) to represent him and to claim that there is no REAL HARD EVIDENCE to place against him that he misused or mishandled any of the Union's funds...so chances of Tyrone going to jail slim-to-none unless evidence can hold him accountable. It's a shame that he may get away with this! Who is going to stand up for us Union Members and demand that repercussions happen to everyone that was involved in this massive corruption that has been going on for years?? We need to stand together and make sure that Tyrone is held accountable for all charges against him and use him as an example to any/all Leaders present and future!!! Otherwise if Tyrone gets away with all charges against him then we will never get rid of the corruption that lies deep within the Union nor will we get justice for the damage that he has done while he was in office representing us.

September 05, 2008 12:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hello Dear President of Seiu 4034 Iam George work with Gail in Chico and Jac why I have not yet have my check now we are Glenn County was pass ection on Oct29,09 we have pass 95 Pacent Now Iam from Laos Kmhmu spesk thai lao not Hmong I want real work get paid by Month Like you and other please $10.00 per Hours is okay now we need to rent Office at Orland Glen County thank you

November 05, 2009 11:58 AM  

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