As you are aware, I charged Tim Sylvester, Jim Reynolds, and the former Executive Board with the unauthorized vacation payout of $197,000 in their last week in office in direct violation of the Local 804 By-Laws and the IBT Constitution. Hearings were held at the Union Hall.
The two main reasons for my charges were: 1) Whether Tim Sylvester reported to the membership his intent to withdraw $197,000 for alleged unused vacation ( pdf Article XV, Local 804 By-Laws, Section 5 b 2 (76 KB) ), and 2) After Tim Sylvester's board lost the election, did Tim Sylvester get the approval of the membership and President elect Eddie Villalta? (Timeline), pdf Local 804 By-Laws Article XII, Section 1OG (30 KB) ; pdf IBT Constitution Article XXII, Section 4E (31 KB) )
To assure compliance with the IBT Constitution, letters from then pdf President-elect Eddie Villalta (231 KB) and pdf the IBT (71 KB) , both dated Dec. 17, 2015 were sent to Tim Sylvester specifically citing Article XXII, Section 4E of the IBT Constitution telling Tim to refrain from spending any extraordinary amount of money after he lost the election.
In summary, we have Article XII, Section 10G in the Local 804 By-Laws, Article XXII in the IBT Constitution and letters from President-elect Eddie Villalta and the IBT that are all very clear; don't spend the extraordinary sum of $197,000.
However, on Dec. 30, 2015 the entire board was paid out $197,872.66 as evidenced by the pdf Local 804's Quick Book report. (626 KB) Take a look at the transcript pdf pg. 84 of Tim Sylvester's recorded testimony (54 KB) . Tim Sylvester confirms that he took $19,234.65, and that he did not report it to the membership.
So, what was their excuse? Throughout the hearing, Sylvester and his board used the excuse that it was a past practice, that the previous administration took the payout; so, Sylvester and his board could do it. My brothers and sisters, there is only one problem with that. Now this is a letter Tim Sylvester didn't know I had. This is a pdf letter from Local 804's lawyers at the time Lewis, Clifton & Nikolaidis. (188 KB) Pay attention to the date of August 12, 2014 on the lawyer's letter. In late July - early August 2014, Jim Reynolds is asking the Local's Lawyer for an interpretation of Article XV in the Local 804 By-Laws. This is the same article I charged them with violating. Please look at the 2nd to last sentence of the lawyer's response letter. 'When the language is clear and unambiguous it must be enforced irrespective of any prior practice that is inconsistent with the clear language." Their own lawyer tells them to follow the clear language of the By-Laws. And, what does Tim Sylvester and his board do? They ignore the clear language of the Bylaws and take the money anyway.
They had another excuse. Tim Sylvester and Jim Reynolds said they didn't have time to tell the membership. Look at pdf Jim Reynold's highlighted transcribed testimony (300 KB) . Jim Reynolds states that because there wasn't any General Membership Meeting, no one ever notified the membership. Look at pdf Tim Sylvester's highlighted testimony on page 87 & 88 (188 KB) . Here I go over all the different ways Tim Sylvester could have reported the $197,000 payout. Sylvester could have written a letter to the members, sent out an email blast, or posted the information on Union bulletin boards. Look at Tim's answer on the bottom of pg. 87 ... "that way-that way I interpret the by-laws go." Tim is trying to think of another excuse. So, I pin Tim down with the next question on the top of pg. 88. My question: "You didn't do any of those things did you"? Tim's answer: "No, I did not."
However, Tim did email blast a 'State of the Union' report to the members. Please look at the pdf 804 State of the Union report from December 2015 (215 KB) . Wouldn't it be appropriate to report a payout of $197,000 in the financial reforms section? In Tim's financial reforms section, Tim can tell you what he did six years ago on his first day in office; but, not that he and his board took $197,000 in the last week in office. That's because Tim Sylvester chose not to tell the membership about the $197,000 payout. And, just to be clear, here's the pdf check to Teamster Rank & File for $400.00 that paid for the email blast (215 KB) . Look at pdf pg. 88 of the transcribed testimony. (188 KB) Tim Sylvester admits to not reporting the $197,000 vacation payout.
A Local 804 panel composed of members of the current Executive Board convened and found Tim Sylvester, Jim Reynolds, Pete Mastrandrea, Dave Fennell, Neil O'Brien, and Christopher Sabatino in violation of our Local 804 By-Laws and IBT Constitution. All appealed to the Joint Council 16 and the IBT without success.