March 10, 2008: A former president of Chicago Local 743, who resigned to try to avoid criminal prosecution, has now been indicted.
The reform team that drove him out of office is hard at work moving Local 743 in a new direction.
On March 6, Robert Walston became the latest disgraced Local 743 official to face federal prosecution on charges that they conspired to steal ballots and rig the 2004 local union election.
Walston mysteriously resigned from the Local 743 presidency last October just days before the first indictments came down.
Also added to the new indictment was Thaddeus Bania, Local 743’s comptroller and dues administrator. Bania is accused of helping Local 743 officials engineer a scheme to reroute hundreds of mail ballots to friends and supporters, in some cases employers.
Walston’s replacement Local 743 President Richard Lopez was also indicted, along with two former business agents and a former organizer.
TDU members and other reformers won a clean election supervised by the Department of Labor and are moving ahead to build a new Local 743 that fights for the members.
The new Local 743 leaders have slashed the salaries of top officers and launched an education program to provide training Local 743 stewards and activists—among other reforms.
“The training was very educational and I’m very proud to be a part of this very important movement,” said Local 743 member Yvette Gardner. “Things have been wrong for so long, hopefully with education we can get 743 back on track”.
Click here to read the indictment of disgraced former Local 743 officials.