The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a national labor union, has filed charges against two of its former Minnesota leaders, accusing them of embezzlement, bank fraud, and other financial misconduct, according to a Star Tribune
The charges against longtime Teamsters members Bradley Slawson Sr., and his son, Bradley Slawson Jr., were brought by the Teamsters Independent Review Board (IRB), which will hold a hearing in late February, the Minneapolis newspaper reported. The IRB is a quasi-governmental body tasked—partly by the U.S. Department of Justice—with cracking down on corruption within Teamsters.
The review board has also reportedly forwarded its recommended charges against the Slawsons to the U.S. Justice and Labor Departments for possible criminal prosecution or civil action.
The Slawsons, who are now on unpaid leave from the union, used to lead Local 120, one of Teamsters’ regional unions that is based in Minnesota and has 11,661 members in five states, according to the Star Tribune
. Teamsters stripped the Slawsons of their leadership positions in November, after the review board completed an investigation into Local 120.
The embezzlement charges against the Slawsons stem partly from payments they received from a Local 120-owned bar in Fargo, North Dakota, known as the Teamsters Club.
Slawson Sr. allegedly received $68,100 in stipends as a member of the bar's board, while Slawson Jr. received $72,700. The IRB alleges that both Slawsons took the payments “without authority and without a union purpose.” In addition, the board accused Slawson Sr. of embezzling an additional $90,000 via a finders fee in connection with the construction of a new union hall in Blaine.
The IRB can order the Slawsons to repay the money and banish them from Teamsters forever, the Star Tribune
The Slawsons have reportedly denied any wrongdoing. Their lawyer, Brian Toder, told the Star Tribune
that he doesn’t expect any government bodies to take action against his clients.
In fact, “I seriously doubt there will be a [Teamsters hearing on the charges], and I expect my clients to be exonerated,” Toder said. “These charges should never have been brought in the first place.”
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