FBI investigating Stern in corruption probe

posted at 4:26 pm on September 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When Andy Stern abruptly resigned his leadership post at the Service Employees International Union in April, speculation swirled about why he seemed in such a hurry to hit the exits.  Some guessed that Barack Obama may have wanted to appoint Stern to a government post, perhaps even a spot in the federal judiciary, but Allahpundit smelled a brewing scandal.  It seems that the FBI may agree:

The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.

The scandal involving the book deal center on a contract Stern got from Simon & Schuster to write a political manifesto, A Country That Works, which sold thousands of copies … to union locals.  Stern got a $175,000 advance for the book, which he kept himself, despite the fact that the union paid for fact-checkers, researchers, and promotion of the book.  Stern insists that he received no royalties from sales to the union locals, and the locals publicly insist that they voluntarily purchased the books at their own expense.  Authors can arrange for discounted sales of books by relinquishing their royalties from the sales, but considering that Stern got such a large advance and that union members were the obvious target market, one can understand why the FBI might get suspicious of the arrangements.

The second case looks even more curious.  Stern and other officials approved payments to Alejandro Stephens for work that never got performed.  Stephens lost his leadership position in a Los Angeles local when it merged with another SEIU unit, but got hired as a $75,000-per-year consultant to the union’s state council in the aftermath.  The SEIU has no record of any work being done by Stephens, which looks like a violation of federal law prohibiting “no-work” union positions.  Stephens, meanwhile, awaits trial on an indictment alleging that he stole $52,000 from a voter outreach program.

Obama hasn’t dodged the scandal by failing to appoint Stern to a prominent position, though, because Obama already appointed Stern to one: the deficit commission.  Stern has a seat on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which ties Stern to Obama even more closely than the weekly visits of Stern to the White House do.  Even if no criminal acts get alleged, how credible will the NCFRR’s recommendations for fiscal responsibility be when coming from a man who paid someone $75,000 per year and never bothered to see whether the consultant ever performed any work?

The Boss Emeritus has more — much more.


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A union leader involved in corruption? What is this world coming to?

Cicero43 on September 28, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Why is Obama going after Stern? What is it that Obama wants from Stern that bribes alone were not enough, that he has to threaten jail time to get?

Skandia Recluse on September 28, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Couldn’t have happened to a ‘nicer’ guy.
Heheh.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 28, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Who isn’t tainted by scandal in this administration?

Bishop on September 28, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Obama hasn’t dodged the scandal by failing to appoint Stern to a prominent position, though, because Obama already appointed Stern to one: the deficit commission.

and there goes another hand grenade into Obama’s own lap. Just like Sestak—offer the guy a job, no wait, a “commission” or something like that, and make it all legit n’ such. Just to keep his own dirty paws appearing clean. One of these days the other shoe is going to drop on all these guys.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:31 PM

lemme guess, just reporting on this story makes Ed a racist and all of us as well by proxy. Oh, but Stern is white so that won’t work, so we must be against the “workers” or something since he’s a union guy…

Rezko
Blago
Stern
Emmanuel
Obama
Jarrett
Michelle Obama
Van Jones
Ayers

how effing long is this list going to get?

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Woah, hold on just a minute. Unions and corruption in the same sentence? Come on, this has got to be a gag. Everyone knows unions are upstanding organizations looking out for the “little guy”.

ButterflyDragon on September 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Here`s hoping he goes from a purple shirt to an orange jump suit.

ThePrez on September 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Here`s hoping he goes from a purple shirt to an orange jump suit.

ThePrez on September 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM

awww dude, now you’re trippin’ my movie theme songs nerves….


check it.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Unions are organized crime.

forest on September 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

how effing long is this list going to get?

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

How could you leave out George Soros?

fourdeucer on September 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

What’s the big deal with no-show jobs? Isn’t that unemployment insurance these days?

Red Cloud on September 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

The DOJ ain’t gonna like this.

abobo on September 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Gotta agree with Scandia… What’s Obama going after? Or is Hillary doing it?

Skywise on September 28, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Oh just another NOT SO CLEVER plan by Obama to break the ties between the corrupt Union Officials that help bribe and manipulate Obama into office.
LOTS of people could have dirt on this administration , be patient IF the Republicans can gain control of the HOUSE ,then we will see a multitude of sleezy dirtbags crawl from under the rocks and offer to trade their info for immunity

ELMO Q on September 28, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Stephens lost his leadership position…but got hired as a $75,000-per-year consultant…the aftermath.

Another job Saved-or-Created!

pain train on September 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM

“and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work”

Being “Brooklyn born & raised”, this is easy to understand. The SEIU are run by thugs. They used to be the mob types you saw way back in movies like “On the Waterfront” or in contemporary series like “The Sopranos”.

Now, they are simply “legitimate” thugs. Hidden by and defended by local governments.

What? you want a “no show” job? No problem. My guy will talk to your guy.

Done.

All on the public dime and paid for by you, the union drones and the tax-payer dolts.

Opposite Day on September 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

how effing long is this list going to get?

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

And Cass Sunstein, Eric Holder, Arne Duncan, and the kiddies favorite Kevin Jennings. Yup thats quite a list.

fourdeucer on September 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

But Unions care about the WORKING MAN!!! LOL

search4truth on September 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

And Cass Sunstein, Eric Holder, Arne Duncan, and the kiddies favorite Kevin Jennings. Yup thats quite a list.

fourdeucer on September 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

exactly! there’s so damn many that I can’ts keep thems all straight jack!

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

birds
feathers
flocking

you get it.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

I look at this investigation as a sort of Night of the Long Knives event.

Ernst Roehm was useful to the Fuehrer when Adolf was trying to rise to and consolidate power and had to deal with various coalitions prior to his 1933 obtaining the Chancellorship. Once accomplished, the Brown Shirts under Roehm became a threat to the Fuehrer, as well as the Party. Roehm had to be eliminated.

The Purple Shirt Thugs of the SEIU may have been singularly responsible for Obama’s obtaining the Presidency. Now, they are an embarassment, and a potential threat to The One.

Can’t have a Night of the Long Knives here in the US…at least I hope not…but eliminating competition and mass movement threats to one’s power seems indicated.

The SEIU and its related organizations are vocal about Obama not being Left enough…and this is starting to wear thin on The One. If Obama even holds a faint hope of being re-elecgted in 2012, even getting the nomination, then Obama has to appear to the American voters as not being of the Far Left, at least until after his hoped for second inaugural.

With Andy Stern and the “Stern Gang” out of the way, it is then possible for Obama to try to pull a Bill Clinton and somehow show the American voters that he is a centrist not a leftist.

After all, would the FBI and the Department of Labor go after Andy Stern without the go-ahead from the White House, and what White House staffer would go out on the limb and approve such a thing unless Obama was fully onboard?

coldwarrior on September 28, 2010 at 4:50 PM

But Unions care about (screwing) the WORKING MAN!!!

search4truth on September 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM

That’s more like it.

JohnGalt23 on September 28, 2010 at 4:50 PM

coldwarrior on September 28, 2010 at 4:50 PM

dude, I about got banned for using that phraseology once.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Rahmbo’s getting the heck out of Dodge while the getting’s good.

kingsjester on September 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Stern visited the White House once a week, on average, during 0′s first year in office. Any bets on Stern either:
1) threatening to disclose the content of all those meetings with 0, or
2)cutting a deal to rat out individuals in the WH in exchange for leniency?

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

iurockhead on September 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Rahmbo’s getting the heck out of Dodge while the getting’s good.

kingsjester on September 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

He came, he saw, he showered, he helped wreck the country.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Another one, appears not related to this case: FBI Raids Home of Chicago SEIU Leader in International Terrorism Sweep

slickwillie2001 on September 28, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

iurockhead on September 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

during your dirt nap you can…..

/SEIU thugs on your front porch

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:54 PM

I can smell this administration from my front porch. Kind of like a broken sewer main.

Cody1991 on September 28, 2010 at 4:56 PM

LOL, I thought this was about Howard Stern.

Mister Ghost on September 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

1) threatening to disclose the content of all those meetings with 0, or
2)cutting a deal to rat out individuals in the WH in exchange for leniency?
iurockhead on September 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Somewhere, some time these little fissures are going to turn into a great big crack and the whole house is going to come tumbling down, I have a dream too.

fourdeucer on September 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

dude, I about got banned for using that phraseology once.

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Dude! You ain’t coldwarrior. No offense intended to you just respect for cw and his knowledge and experience.

darwin-t on September 28, 2010 at 4:59 PM

That’s okay, Holder will never prosecute.

John the Libertarian on September 28, 2010 at 4:59 PM

federal law prohibiting “no-work” union positions.

I thought that’s what it meant to work in a union: no-work

VibrioCocci on September 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Dude! You ain’t coldwarrior. No offense intended to you just respect for cw and his knowledge and experience.

darwin-t on September 28, 2010 at 4:59 PM

dude! no disrespect meant at all. Im just stating a fact. I used the same analogy on the night of the long ….. in a historical reference similar to cw’s and I literally about got it in the neck. (just a caveat, I had pissed off AP about 3-4 times in the preceding weeks, but that’s irrelevant….)

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 5:03 PM

I had pissed off AP about 3-4 times in the preceding weeks, but that’s irrelevant….)

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Shame on you! I can’t, simply cannot, imagine that you would do that. ;)

Cody1991 on September 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I’m sure he’s paid off the right people. That and he probably knows where the bodies are buried…literally. I think incoming mob…er, union bosses get a book listing all the blackmail once they get into the office.

Asher on September 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM

My question is?. How far do you follow the chain?.

I suppose that *better late then not at all* is in order.

hawkman on September 28, 2010 at 5:11 PM

If only Stern were a member of the Black Panther Party he would be in the clear. : ))

Angry Dumbo on September 28, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Curious… and Mayor Tony Villar is winging his way to D.C. as we speak.

Hmmmm…

The Ugly American on September 28, 2010 at 5:15 PM

, and the locals publicly insist that they voluntarily purchased the books at their own expense.

You wanna buy dis here book, right?

rbj on September 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Nancy hasn’t been tending the ‘swamp’ very well.

GarandFan on September 28, 2010 at 5:36 PM

If gangsters ever organized, they could demand more money, and work less hours.
T.H.U.G.S—The Honorable Union of Gangsters Service.
Look for the union label, or the bat across the knees…

right2bright on September 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Democrats who accepted campaign money from SEIU should give it back asap. If they care about the workers, they will.

TN Mom on September 28, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Stern = Kenite

True_King on September 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Meanwhile, the U of Georgetown looks even more foolish for making a Stern a senior research fellow.

WannabeAnglican on September 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

That photo always makes me think that Andy Stern has been named coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Chuckles3 on September 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

dude! no disrespect meant at all. Im just stating a fact. I used the same analogy on the night of the long ….. in a historical reference similar to cw’s and I literally about got it in the neck. (just a caveat, I had pissed off AP about 3-4 times in the preceding weeks, but that’s irrelevant….)

ted c on September 28, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Are you suggesting that AP is a petulant, vindictive wuss who plays favorites? I have reams of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that this is possibly not true.

Extrafishy on September 29, 2010 at 10:35 AM