Sikorsky union chief accused of embezzlement

Frank Juliano
Connecticut Post
July 28, 2014

The top official of the union representing Sikorsky Aircraft Co. employees has been accused by an independent review board of embezzling at least $13,000 in union funds.

Harvey Jackson, the president and business agent of Teamsters Union Local 1150, charged his family's cellphone bills to his union credit card and used it to buy cameras, stereo speakers, a high-end DVD player, projector and other electronics for his personal use, the report states.

Rocco Calo, the secretary-treasurer of the Stratford-based union local, said he doesn't have the authority to remove Jackson from the union's board of directors.

The independent review board, which includes former FBI Director William H. Webster, issued a report July 17 that recommends internal charges be brought against Jackson for violating Teamsters bylaws, obstructing the board's investigation and "bringing reproach upon the IBT (International Brotherhood of Teamsters)."

Embezzlement "is an act of racketeering all members are enjoined from committing under the consent order in United States v. IBT," the report states.

"I'm extremely disappointed,'' Calo said. "We have internal processes to deal with this, and we'll recommend that (Jackson) contact the (review board) and discuss a resolution."

Calo said he has not been contacted by federal prosecutors or anyone else about possible criminal charges against Jackson. Criminal charges are outside the review board's authority, but its report could become the basis for federal charges.

Thomas Carson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Deidre M. Daly, said federal prosecutors had no comment.

During hearings held in May, Jackson claimed that purchases he made at a Best Buy in Orange or online were for the union local's conference hall and meeting room. But investigators could not find the items when they visited the Stratford facility, and Jackson in some cases gave vague or conflicting explanations for the purchases, the report states.

Cellphone bills subpoenaed from Sprint show the charges Jackson used his union credit card to pay were for phones used by his wife and daughter, investigators said.

Phone calls to Jackson's home, cellphone and his union hall office were not returned.

Jackson, a Bridgeport resident, was paid $141,744 by the union in 2013, according to Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a Detroit-based group that is challenging current International Brotherhood of Teamsters leadership.

Local 1150 represents more than 4,400 employees at Sikorsky plants in Stratford, Alabama and Florida.

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