Tyrone Ricky Freeman

Service Employees International Union Local 6434 former president Tyrone Freeman was sentenced to 33 months jail and $150,000 fine for stealing SEIU dues money

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU 6434 President, now faces nearly 3 years jail time and a $150,000 fine

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU 6434 President, now faces nearly 3 years jail time and a $150,000 fine

Tyrone Freeman, who we’ve written about often here, has been sentenced to almost 3 years of jail time. The judge ordered Freeman to pay $150,000 in restitution and 33 months of prison for 14 charges, which included embezzlement and fraud.

We’ve discussed the charges, the sentencing and even given you a glimpse into an evening with Freeman, where his extravagance with union member’s dues money is on full display. But one of the most interesting views comes from the LA Times, which offers this insight into the last few moments before the sentencing, where Freeman breaks down in tears:

Before Collins imposed the sentence, Freeman stood before the judge and cried as he asked for leniency, acknowledging that his “bad decisions” hurt the workers and his family.

“May God have mercy on me,” said Freeman, 44, wearing a dark business suit. “I am accountable for these bad decisions.”

On Monday, prosecutors said they believed the sentence for Freeman was fair, although they had asked for a prison term of more than three years. “He abused some of the poorest working-class members of this community,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Elisa Fernandez said.

A rival union whose leaders left the SEIU after resisting efforts to shift some of their members to Freeman’s local welcomed Monday’s sentence. “People in SEIU’s leadership knew there was something wrong in the local for years and did nothing about it,” said John Borsos, secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

SEIU Local 6434 and the union’s national office did not respond to requests for comment.

One of the most important factors that brought about the trial and sentencing of Tyrone Freeman was the promulgation of the Department of Labor’s Form LM-2 regulation. This regulation for the first time disclosed detailed union financial information. This disclosure regulation was strongly opposed by unions.

It was because a whistleblower took a look at the Form LM-2 and recognized that something was wrong that investigators began reviewing the union’s expenses. As quoted earlier, it had been obvious to the SEIU International union that something was wrong, but nothing was done. To the SEIU, petty theft is not as significant of a problem as bad publicity.

This fits with the theory of SEIU responsibility, which is that as long as your problems don’t extend to the point of harming the overall union, they won’t call you out. In fact they would prefer to have something negative to hold over  leaders like Tyrone Freeman, so that they can later penalize and replace them if they act out of line. After all, if they do nothing wrong, it’s much harder to replace them with someone friendlier to their goals.

The SEIU has a long history of fighting transparency measures. You can see that in some of our previous articles. This case, however, shows how long they’re willing to go before calling out one of their own members. Tyrone Freeman would’ve never gotten away with what he did without a complacence atmosphere of SEIU corruption telling him that it was okay.

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU 6434 President, now faces nearly 3 years jail time and a $150,000 fineService Employees International Union Local 6434 former president Tyrone Freeman was sentenced to 33 months jail and $150,000 fine for stealing SEIU dues money Tyrone Freeman, who we’ve written about often here, has been sentenced to almost 3 years of jail time. The judge ordered Freeman to pay $150,000 in restitution and 33 months of […]