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L.A. union trusts' attorney accused of conspiring to fire whistle-blower

The federal government Monday accused a trust attorney for a Los Angeles cement workers union of retaliating against an employee who helped investigators in a corruption probe of the labor organization's leader. In an amendment to a civil lawsuit, the U.S. Labor Department contends that San Diego-based Melissa Cook and her firm violated the law by conspiring to fire the employee as part of an alleged scheme to protect the president of Cement Masons Union Local 600. The civil complaint, which was originally filed in U.S. District Court in May, also names as defendants the local's top official, Scott Brain, and several trustees who oversee funds that pay for the cement...