Union tries to fire trustee who asked to audit taxpayer funded account

posted at 11:00 am on November 5, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

We should send out another big tip of the hat to Mark Flatten at the Goldwater Institute for yet another piece of investigative journalism where he discovers some of the rather shocking collisions which take place at the intersection of public employee unions and taxpayer dollars. (A pause here, while I realize that it’s probably no longer shocking at this point.) This incident takes place in Phoenix, Arizona at the offices of AFSCME Local 2960, where one of their trustees – charged with monitoring the prudent spending of union funds – apparently exercised the poor judgement to ask if she should be auditing where some of that money goes, specifically in the handling of a large insurance fund.

Natasha Nimer had a simple question: As a trustee in a local labor union representing City of Phoenix employees, did she have a duty to check the books of a taxpayer-funded insurance account it managed?

So she asked the executive board of AFSCME Local 2960. The response was an emphatic “no.”

She dropped the matter and thought it would end there.

She was wrong.

In the months that followed, union officials tried to strip Nimer of her duties as a trustee and steward. They tried twice to force her out of AFSCME, only to have the international headquarters order her reinstated.

Eventually union executives went after Nimer’s job as a civilian employee in the Phoenix Fire Department. They demanded her city phone records, personal and work-related emails, disciplinary files and performance evaluations; even a list of all of the Web sites she had visited. They wanted her computers seized and the hard drives searched for evidence she was doing something wrong.

Oh, she was doing something wrong, alright. She was asking questions about how the massive insurance scheme was being administered and whether she should be seeing if everything was being run in a proper and efficient manner. The result was a series of attacks where her own union tried on multiple occasions to force her from her position as a trustee and even launched an investigation to see if they could force her from her regular, full time job. After the better part of a year she finally gave up and resigned from her position as trustee, saying she felt “beaten down” by the constant pressure and attacks.

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about funds representing dues paid by (mostly) willing members of a private labor union. These are taxpayer dollars. They have people such as Ms. Nimer in place not simply for internal housekeeping, but also to supposedly ensure that taxpayer dollars aren’t being wasted or worse. Apparently that’s all well and good… unless someone actually attempts to do their job.

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Where’s Jackson and Sharpton?

50sGuy on November 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Eventually union executives went after Nimer’s job as a civilian employee in the Phoenix Fire Department.

“We’re the unions and we’re here to help the worker. All together now—Look for The Union Label, etc. etc.”

dirtseller on November 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

She’s a hero! She needs to good lawyer and a civil lawsuit.

JellyToast on November 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I’m sure this is the only local that would panic at such a suggestion.

Akzed on November 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Where’s Jackson and Sharpton?
50sGuy on November 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I don’t know where Al is, but Jesse’s right here.

Akzed on November 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Um… okay.

Nice bone. But, where’s the meat?

 

Cool story, bro. I guess.

FlatFoot on November 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM

What else needs to happen in these circumstances, is not just sue the top people, but the bottom as well. Go after each and everyone of of the people who had a part in this!

There is no other choice for good people. There simply is none. She still may not be safe resigning. They may still keep going after her. There is no safety in running any more.
I heard this one guy on Rush one day saying he was going to buy a camper and live the rest of his life in the woods. I can understand those feelings. It’s a judgement call… but there will be no hiding if corruption is allowed to consume this nation unabated.
It’s like these OWS protesters.. they are shouting to drag people out of their homes and offices, hang them in the streets. You’re not even safe just working you job and minding your own business.

They only way this garbage is even going to stop is for conservatives and Christians.. good people to go on the offensive. To be vigilant. This is not a time for cowards. That is why we need a change in our GOP leadership. I fear cowards on our own side more than I fear Marxists.

JellyToast on November 5, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Um… okay. Nice bone. But, where’s the meat? Cool story, bro. I guess. FlatFoot on November 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM

She had a full time job she paid dues to the union to protect.

She had a position with the local with fiduciary responsibilities.

In the attempt to fulfill her fiduciary responsibilities she was not only rebuffed, but the local went after the job she was paying it to protect as revenge.

What are you, a union local’s business agent?

Akzed on November 5, 2011 at 11:18 AM

FOLLOW THE MONEY $$$$$$$$$$

IlonaE on November 5, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Organized crime.

Philly on November 5, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Racist!

singlemalt 18 on November 5, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Another reason that when I hear union I think graft, corruption, extortion, blackmail, nepotism, intimidation, bribery, theft and many times assault and murder.

kurtzz3 on November 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I found out a long time ago that whenever you try & do the right thing, you are often mercilessly attacked for it.
And most everyone around you are cowards.
That’s why I gave up trying to turn things around in my public screwl.
Nobody effing CARES anymore.
No one wants to rock the boat.
People are just fricking cowards.
I really feel for this woman.

Badger40 on November 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

BTW- It just registered in my brain. My GF used to work for the city of Phoenix as a secretary.
I hear the people there are absolutely HORRID people.
Backstabbers & cheats & liars.
My GF finally had to leave after like 10 yrs.
She couldn’t take it anymore.

Badger40 on November 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM

bho and team are just as happy as can be with all the union thugs! He gets millions upon millions of taxpayers paid to union thugs for his re-election! trumka is a regular coming to the wh you know!
L

letget on November 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Public sector unions are like vampires, feeding off the taxpayers until they are drained dry.

Time, and past time, to put a stake through their hearts.

Rebar on November 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM

My GF finally had to leave after like 10 yrs.
She couldn’t take it anymore.

Exactly what unions do: They create an environment where the lazy and corrupt flourish, and the industrious and honest are punished. Socialism pretty much does the same thing.

This is what they call “fairness”.

Socratease on November 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Just like in any gang, 9 times out of 10 you are killed by one of your own, not the enemy…

yubley on November 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Good thing the NAACP helped her out, can you imagine what a treasure trove of information she might have been. Pretty smart lefty move.

Cindy Munford on November 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM

She is clearly a RACIST and a Republican plant! The outrage! The pathos!

Calling MSNBC!! Calling MSNBC!!

Khun Joe on November 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

If they could have added the one way trip “business” to Siberia, they would have. No one questions the union they will destroy you. Even if a simple question of is it my job, they will tell you what you do and if you do not know do not ask.

tjexcite on November 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I think a whole lot of union members are going to find out too late that their pension, health care, retirement and other funds have been pillaged and the cupboard is bare. I also think most of Obama’s spending has been intended to cover-up that fact as long as possible.

tommyboy on November 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Nice opportunity for Jan Brewer here. Send in the AG.

pat on November 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM

These union managed schemes provide slush funds which are used for political favors. They pay for “services” provided by small companies and people connected to the politicians, who vote to provide these funds. It is incredibly corrupt and people investigating them risk their lives doing so.

ray on November 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Nice bone. But, where’s the meat?

FlatFoot on November 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM

She wanted to audit the books of taxpayer funds, they fired her for trying.

So no, she doesn’t have the books… because they fired her rather than letting anyone see them.

Clearly there is nothing here, no worries… so long as you cover up your activity and fire anyone who gets close you can’t possibly be doing anything wrong?

Interesting logical argument bro; but it fails at being even vaguely rational.

gekkobear on November 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

This maybe a silly question but since it’s taxpayer money we’re talking about here. Why isn’t the state doing the oversight and not a symbolic trustee who is also a member of the Union?

chickasaw42 on November 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM

These union managed schemes provide slush funds which are used for political favors. They pay for “services” provided by small companies and people connected to the politicians, who vote to provide these funds. It is incredibly corrupt and people investigating them risk their lives doing so.

ray on November 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM

They are intrinsically interwoven with the Democratic Party. Nationwide, small populations and large, they’re operatives for the DNC and vice-versa, and they use elections and voter organizing to self-benefit and/or for interchangeable benefit: DNC-unions-DNC-unions, local Democrat party chieftains also local or even regional operatives in unions.

Lourdes on November 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Let them deal with the fallout from all her relatives and friends and coworkers.

It will bite them in the rear end.

RebeccaH on November 5, 2011 at 10:25 PM