Diary

Union Local's Sham Expenditures? $93,755 on 'Computer Services'?

Larry Seale of First Transit Employee Rights Blog found an odd expenditure for Los Angeles based Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1277 early this month. The vexing question here is why would a Local union office need to spend $93,755 on “computer services”? What are they doing, rebuilding flight control for NASA?

On the Local’s LM-2 form, a financial disclosure form required by the federal government, the payout of “computer services” is listed as having been paid to a Doc Fixit, Inc of Santa Clarita, California. $93,755 is an awful lot of money for ”computer services” unless one was fitting an entire TV station, or starting up a printing company or some such major effort. But for sure that sort of money should be thought far and above what might be needed for a simple union Local’s offices.

Seale got curious when he saw the generous expenditure and tried to look up this Doc Fixit, Inc but couldn’t find a listing for it anywhere. It’s as if no such company exists. So where did this money go? What did it buy the Local? And where is this mysterious Doc Fixit, Inc computer company?

Something seems pretty fishy in L.A., doesn’t it?

Now, just imagine… this is one small Local with questionable expenditures. Imagine how this sort of thing is compounded from union to union? Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that the LM-2 disclosure form is supposed to catch. Yet this is also just the sort of thing that the Obama administration wants to systematically ignore by turning away from investigating questionable LM-2 forms. With Obama’s new found lack of enthusiasm for looking into these sort of things who can’t expect that shady expenses will increase with unions of all sorts doing so with impunity?

Fortunately there are voices like Larry’s out there to bring it to our attention.