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Top UHW-W Officers Violated Federal Law, Deceived Members in Diverting Millions in Dues Money to Outside Fund
Date:4/29/2008

SEIU filing lawsuit today to ensure return of members' money to UHW-W treasury from outside fund

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten top officers of SEIU local union United Healthcare Workers West (UHW-W) violated federal law and deceived their members when they authorized and diverted millions of dollars in dues money to an outside fund under their exclusive control, according to a lawsuit being filed today by SEIU in United States District Court for the Central District of California.

SEIU is bringing the lawsuit against the ten directors of the fund seeking to return to the UHW-W treasury $3 million in UHW-W members' money that is known to have been diverted.

In May 2007, a select group of ten top officers of UHW-W instituted a plan to divert up to $6 million -- nearly 40 percent of UHW-W's net assets -- while deceiving UHW members and the federal government about the purpose of the fund. The ten officers are UHW-W President Sal Rosselli, Executive Vice President Jorge Rodriguez, Secretary Treasurer Joan Emslie, and seven members of the local union's executive board

A total of $3 million in UHW-W members' dues money was quietly diverted to this outside fund -- $1 million on May 25, 2007, and $2 million on February 5, 2008.

"The highest ranking UHW-W officers used millions of dollars in members' dues money to run a shadow operation off the books and they intentionally deceived their own members and the federal government about how the money would be used," said SEIU spokesperson Andrew McDonald. "It is unacceptable for a handful of people to control nearly 40 percent of a local union's assets with no accountability to the members, no financial safeguards, no protections against fraud, and none of oversight required by law."

The SEIU lawsuit alleges the ten UHW-W officers who comprise the outside fund's board of directors broke federal and state laws by breaching their fiduciary duties and
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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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