A routine Local 804 audit uncovered nearly $200,000 removed from the union’s general account at the end of the last administration’s term in office. It appears that some former officers and business agents took between $4,407 and $19,834 each without the approval of the incoming officers or membership, a violation of both Local 804 by-laws and the IBT constitution.

The current Local 804 administration hired an experienced investigator after learning of the expenditures. With one exception, the former officers and business agents who received a payout refused to meet with the investigator. None of the former officers received approval for an “extraordinary expenditure.

Teamster union officers are required to enforce Local by-laws and the Teamster constitution. In accordance with the IBT constitution, Local 804 Secretary-Treasurer Piccinich charged the former officers with possible embezzlement and Local 804 President Villalta held internal hearings. At the hearings, each member had the opportunity to defend himself against the charges.

> pdf President Villalta’s 1/17/17 letter to Local 804 members (462 KB)
>Charges:  pdf Dave Fennell (1.54 MB) , pdf Jim Reynolds (1.54 MB) , pdf Tim Sylvester (1.54 MB)
> pdf International Constitution: Article XXII Section 4(e) (31 KB)
> pdf Local 804 By-Laws: Article XII Section 10 (10 KB)

The Local 804 Executive Board found the former officers guilty of taking local union funds in violation of Local 804 by-laws and the IBT constitution.  Members of the former Local 804 executive board were ordered to repay the funds and their Teamster membership was also suspended.

The former officers appealed the decision to Teamsters Joint Council 16 and the IBT General Executive Board (GEB).  They lost their appeals.

Both the Teamster General Executive Board and Teamster Joint Council 16 found that the former officers violated the Teamster Constitution and Local 804 By-Laws.  All charged members are required to repay Local 804 and serve suspensions. Brothers Sylvester and Reynolds are also barred from holding any office or employment with Local 804 or any other Teamster affiliate for five years or until after the money has been repaid, whichever occurs later.

  pdf >Final Decision (486 KB)

Timeline

Dec. 17, 2015 – Incoming Pres. Villalta sends a letter to Pres. Sylvester requesting a smooth transition and notifying him of his right as principal officer-elect to approve any extraordinary expenditures. The International Union also sends a letter to Pres. Sylvester informing him that he may not make an extraordinary expenditures without approval from the officers-elect and membership. 
pdf Read the Letter from Pres. Elect Villalta. (90 KB)
pdf Read the Letter from GP Hoffa. (65 KB)

Dec. 30, 2015 – The outgoing officers cut union checks totaling nearly $200,000 and issue them to outgoing officers and business agents.

Jan. 4, 2016 – The new Local 804 executive board is installed

March, 2016 – The International Union conducts a routine financial audit of Local 804 covering the period of September 2015 through January 2016.

May 6, 2016 – The IBT notifies President Villalta that the audit uncovered areas of non-compliance, and calls for the President Villalta to determine if the $200,000 in vacation pay was calculated correctly and to consult legal counsel to determine what actions should be taken. > pdf Read the Letter (48 KB)

May 12, 2016 – The Local 804 executive board retains outside an investigator.

Aug. 2, 2016 – The investigator requests that members of the previous administration meet with him on the record, and agreed that they could be represented by a lawyer. Only one agrees.

Aug.18, 2016 – The officer and his attorney meet with the investigator.

Oct. 18, 2016 - The investigator sends a second letter requesting that members of the previous administration meet with him on the record.

Dec. 22, 2016 – The executive board meets with the investigator for an update.

Jan. 12, 2017 - Secretary-Treasurer Piccinich files internal union charges.

Jan. - Mar. 2017 – Local hearings held.

April 2017 – Local 804 Executive Board issues decisions.

June 16, 2017 – Former 804 officers file an appeal with Teamsters Joint Council 16

June 27, 2017 – IBT General President Hoffa grants a stay on penalties until an appeal to the GEB is decided

August 17, 2017 – Joint Council 16 affirms all Local 804 Executive Board decisions.

August 31, 2017 – Charged parties file an appeal to the IBT General Executive Board

Dec. 7, 2017 - IBT General Executive Board issues final decision, imposes penalties. > pdf Read the final decision (486 KB)