Union boss under fire: A Times Special Report

Full coverage of The Times investigation into the Los Angeles chapter of the Service Employees International Union.

Ex-SEIU local exec convicted of stealing from low-income members

10:33 PM PST, January 28, 2013

Ex-SEIU local exec convicted of stealing from low-income members

A onetime rising star in national labor circles who headed California's biggest union local was convicted Monday on federal charges that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from his low-income members.

Former leader of SEIU local is indicted

August 1, 2012

Former leader of SEIU local is indicted

Not long ago, Tyrone Freeman was a rising star in the national labor movement, already the head of California's biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Union sues former executive for $1.1 million

April 1, 2009

Union sues former executive for $1.1 million

The union of low-wage caregivers that Tyrone Freeman once headed has taken him to court to demand restitution of more than $1.1 million -- dues money that allegedly financed his lifestyle of $175 glasses of cognac, $250 bottles of wine and a $3,400 trip to the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

March 11, 2009

Finances of charity run by SEIU official scrutinized

A Bay Area officer of the scandal-clouded Service Employees International Union has collected double salaries, one as a city transit worker and the other from a charity that receives much of its funding from the labor organization and corporate interests, records show.

10:30 PM PDT, March 10, 2009

Top SEIU official in California quits three posts

The Service Employees International Union's highest-ranking California officer has resigned that position and two other leadership posts in the wake of an internal investigation of payments to her ex-boyfriend, it was announced today.

February 22, 2009

Labor's time has come, but trouble stirs within

With a Democratic majority in Congress, an economy in meltdown and what many see as the most labor-friendly White House in generations, unions would seem to be poised for a comeback. Experts say they are at a defining moment to rebuild their forces by putting their strength behind an effort to revamp labor laws.

February 27, 2009

Kaiser's California workers move to switch unions

Tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente's California workers have signed a petition to leave United Healthcare Workers West and join the newly formed National Union of Healthcare Workers, officials announced Thursday.

Times' Paul Pringle wins George Polk Award for SEIU stories

February 17, 2009

Times' Paul Pringle wins George Polk Award for SEIU stories

Los Angeles Times staff writer Paul Pringle has won a George Polk Award for investigative stories that "revealed potential corruption" in California's largest union local, it was announced today.

February 3, 2009

Bay Area health union seeks vote on membership

California's labor battle over who will represent tens of thousands of hospital workers will apparently be determined in voting booths at dozens of hospitals and nursing homes around the state.

Breakaway union could prompt war of attrition with SEIU

February 2, 2009

Breakaway union could prompt war of attrition with SEIU

Late into the night, the last of the holdouts stood pressed against the locked glass door, peering into the murky streets of downtown Oakland, waiting to be routed from their building by fellow unionists.

January 23, 2009

Split decision in hearing on home care workers union

In an unexpected twist, a former Labor secretary tapped to resolve a dispute between two high-profile labor leaders essentially rendered a split decision Thursday.

January 17, 2009

U.S. Labor Department adopts tougher financial disclosure rules for unions

The federal government has adopted new financial disclosure rules for labor organizations that officials say would help expose the sort of corruption allegedly found in the largest California chapter of the Service Employees International Union.

January 11, 2009

SEIU merger to create healthcare 'mega-local' in California

The board of the Service Employees International Union has decided to merge 240,000 members from three California locals into one mega-local representing nursing home workers and home health aides, making the yet-unnamed group the nation's second-largest SEIU branch.

A year of triumphs and scandals for SEIU

December 31, 2008

A year of triumphs and scandals for SEIU

The year might have ended on a purely triumphant note for Andy Stern, who heads the nation's fastest-growing labor union and played a key supporting role in President-elect Barack Obama's drive for the White House.

December 27, 2008

Service workers express outrage over alleged misuse of SEIU funds

They make subsistence wages tending to the sick and elderly, minus the dues paid to the union local whose charismatic former president promised again and again to make the caregivers' own lives better.

December 13, 2008

Records show no recent aid to two charities from union golf event

For several years, the Service Employees International Union's largest California local has staged a lavish golf tournament that it bills as a fundraiser for two nonprofit groups affiliated with the labor organization.

December 13, 2008

Union-founded nonprofit spent zero on its charitable purpose in two years

A nonprofit organization founded by California's largest union local reported spending nothing on its charitable purpose -- to develop housing for low-income workers -- during at least two of the four years it has been operating, federal records show.

December 5, 2008

Southern California union is probing top official's role in ex-boyfriend's deal

Early last year, Alejandro Stephens' long tenure as president of one of California's biggest union locals came to an end after the labor organization he headed merged into a larger local.

November 27, 2008

Service union bans former California local president for life

The Service Employees International Union has imposed a lifetime ban on the former president of its largest California local and ordered him to repay more than $1 million that it says he misappropriated from the labor organization.

November 24, 2008

Proposed merger of California healthcare union locals draws intense protest

The presidential election has come to an end, but a stormy political battle of another sort is in high gear in labor circles, with long-ranging consequences for California healthcare workers.

November 1, 2008

Charity linked to union probe gets tax exemption

A nonprofit housing organization has received a federal tax exemption retroactive to 2004 despite being linked to a corruption investigation into the Los Angeles labor union that founded it, according to Internal Revenue Service records and officials.

October 20, 2008

L.A. labor leader used charity's employees for politics, workers say

A Los Angeles labor leader now the target of a corruption probe routinely ordered employees of a charity he headed to work on campaigns for political candidates -- a practice barred by law -- according to people who said they participated in such activities.

October 15, 2008

SEIU leader loses post over scandal

The president of the Service Employees International Union's biggest Michigan local has been removed from office and must refund $33,500 in housing payments that have been linked to a spending scandal at the parent organization's leading California chapter.

September 30, 2008

Union trusts must provide financial data

Labor union trusts that provide a variety of benefits for workers must disclose detailed financial information under new federal rules designed to root out corruption, officials said Monday.

Union paid firms with family ties

By Paul Pringle
An SEIU spokeswoman says there's nothing improper about the payments.
September 26, 2008

September 18, 2008

SEIU accuses local union leader of misusing funds

The Service Employees International Union has accused the head of its largest California local of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in an alleged corruption scheme that included payments to firms owned by his relatives and expenditures on his Hawaiian wedding and a Beverly Hills cigar club.

House pursuing probe of SEIU local in L.A., panel chairman says

September 17, 2008

House pursuing probe of SEIU local in L.A., panel chairman says

Responding to Republican charges of foot-dragging, the Democratic chairman of the House labor panel said Tuesday that it is pursuing its inquiry into a spending scandal at the Service Employees International Union but taking care not to interfere with a criminal investigation.

GOP congressman calls for hearings into SEIU spending scandal

10:25 PM PDT, September 12, 2008

GOP congressman calls for hearings into SEIU spending scandal

The top-ranking Republican on the House labor committee called Friday for immediate hearings on a spending scandal at California's largest union local.

September 6, 2008

Compton probes sale of land to group tied to embattled SEIU local

The Compton city attorney's office is investigating a $1-per-lot sale of government land to a housing corporation that failed to receive the tax-exempt status it sought and is associated with a Los Angeles labor union mired in a spending scandal.

September 5, 2008

SEIU, beset by spending scandal, places a senior manager on leave

The Service Employees International Union announced Thursday that it had placed a senior manager at its biggest California local on leave and that two lower-ranking staffers had lost their jobs, because of allegations that other employees were retaliated against in connection with a widening spending scandal.

SEIU president says he will seek aid from labor reform groups

September 4, 2008

SEIU president says he will seek aid from labor reform groups

The president of the Service Employees International Union said this week that he plans to consult with two labor reform groups in an effort to clean up his scandal-stained organization, beginning with a new ethics code and an internal watchdog commission.

August 31, 2008

3rd California union leader gives up post

The Service Employees International Union's top California officer has taken a leave of absence, and her former boyfriend has been ordered to return tens of thousands of dollars he received from the state council and Los Angeles local that she heads.

August 29, 2008

Congress investigates L.A. local of the Service Employees International Union

A congressional committee has opened an inquiry into a financial scandal enveloping the Service Employees International Union's biggest California local because of six-figure payments made to firms owned by relatives of its president.

August 28, 2008

Labor Department reportedly joins investigation of SEIU payments

A growing financial scandal in the 2-million-member Service Employees International Union has prompted a federal criminal investigation into the labor organization's largest California local, sources familiar with the probe say.

August 26, 2008

SEIU spending scandal spreads to Michigan

A spending scandal at California's largest union local spread to a second state Monday as the head of a sister labor group in Michigan stepped aside because of a widening financial inquiry.

August 23, 2008

SEIU removes all officers of local chapter amid financial inquiry

The Service Employees International Union on Friday removed all elected officers of its biggest California local amid an inquiry into the financial practices of the labor group and a related charity, including payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by its president's relatives.

Tyrone Freeman steps aside as head of SEIU chapter

August 21, 2008

Tyrone Freeman steps aside as head of SEIU chapter

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.

10:41 PM PDT, August 16, 2008

U.S. investigates L.A.-based union's election

The election of a Los Angeles union leader under fire for his labor group's spending practices is the subject of a government review that could force a new vote because of complaints that the contest was unfair to challengers.

Investigation of spending by care workers' union is sought

August 12, 2008

Investigation of spending by care workers' union is sought

Advocates for low-wage caregivers called on authorities Monday to investigate the spending practices of a Los Angeles union and a related charity that have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and mother-in-law of the labor organization's leader.

August 9, 2008

A TIMES INVESTIGATION

Union, charity paid thousands to firms owned by official's relatives

California's largest union local and a related charity have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and mother-in-law of the labor organization's president, documents and interviews show.

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook
Connect
Advertisement

VIDEO