Diary

California: 3rd Top SEIU Official Steps Down Ahead of Corruption

Yet another Top Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chief has stepped down from her office at the troubled and corrupt California branch of the union this month according to the L.A.Times.

Annelle Grajeda is the third major SEIU leader to be forced to step down just ahead of major legal troubles over corruption. Grajeda’s boyfriend, Alejandro Stephens, has also been ordered to repay tens of thousands of dollars he received from the state council that Grajeda heads.

Annelle Grajeda is the third major SEIU leader to step aside following reports in The Times about the union’s financial practices. The SEIU acknowledged Saturday that Grajeda was on leave as president of the L.A. local and the union’s state council, and as an executive vice president of the national organization, because of allegations that she was improperly involved in the payments.

Grajeda paid her boyfriend thousands of dollars.

In 2007, Stephens was paid nearly $14,000 by the Los Angeles office in “disbursements for official business” and $75,000 in consulting fees by the state council, according to the union’s financial filings with the U.S. Labor Department.

As an SEIU executive board member, he also received more than $104,000 in salary and disbursements last year from the union’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., records show. The filings indicate that the national office reimbursed the state council for the $75,000.

There are a lot of charges and counter charges, but the upshot is that Grajeda gave away thousands to her lover and herself and that the charity spent more on “fundraising efforts” and expenses than it did on the actual charity work.

This sort of endemic corruption has been pandemic with the California SEIU and the L.A. Times has done yeoman’s work uncovering it all (which in itself is a miracle.).

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