Federal Department of Labor Finding
Many will know that IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger engaged in a blatant conflict of interest surrounding his cozy real estate deals with Jim Franzoni of S.F.& C. Insurance, who heads up the Nationwide and Liberty Mutual dealings with the IAFF.
Schaitberger purchased an $800,000 waterfront home from Franzoni and kept the deal secret until it was later discovered by the Department of Labor (DOL).
Schaitberger doesn’t care about ethics but DOL does.
What a Coincidence
It’s still an amazing fact that out of all of the thousands of homes available for sale in the greater Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area that Schaitberger just managed to buy one from someone with a significant financial relationship with the IAFF.
It’s so amazing that DOL says you have to report it to them.
Schaitberger had this to say, “…I have today submitted an amended 2010 LM-30 report to the agency referencing my one-half interest in the property….”
It takes the feds to make Schaitberger fess up though even that was said off the record in order to perpetuate the charade.
But Wait, There’s More
Let’s step back a moment to get a wider view.
While the issue is union corruption generally, the specific concern here is conflict of interest and full disclosure.
The definition of conflict of interest is “aÂ situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the personâ€™s self-interestÂ and professional interest.â€
Having been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Schaitberger had the audacity to create his own definition of conflict of interest, one that suits his ethic-less leadership.
Here it is: Â “The mere holding of a personal financial interest in a vendor or other entity with which the IAFF transacts does not necessarily constitute a conflict of interest.”
This is what dictators do in communist countries.
They simply airbrush the photo to suit their version of reality or re-write the history books eliminating the parts they don’t like.
It Takes a Family (of Crooks)
Schaitberger has lots of help as he destroys the IAFF.
He has “purchased” the entire IAFF Executive Board with “off-the-books” pay raises and goodies.
They blindly fall in line casting “yes” votes or remaining silent as he acts with impunity, emptying the IAFF coffers to fund his lavish lifestyle.
It’s extraordinary that even though the house offense is rooted in non-disclosure he is still trying to keep the whole nasty deal hidden from view.
In trying to keep his guilt from the membership he revealed the DOL finding in secret session at the February Board Meeting in Florida.
That’s also what politburos do: go behind closed doors to talk about what should be public information.
And, he had help with that.
IAFF General Counsel Tom Woodley was there to give Shaitberger some much needed cover.
“It was explained by IAFF General Counsel Tom Woodley that, under federal law and Labor Department regulations, it should not be necessary for me to file an amended LM-30 report for the year 2010 with regard to my purchase of a 50 percent interest in certain real estate and related property in that year.”
Call me crazy, but isn’t the role of the IAFF General Counsel to represent the IAFF?
Why is he defending Schaitberger’s appalling behavior to the board?
Even Schaitberger admitted, “As you know, the filing of these reports is an individual responsibility which does not involve our union.”
So, why involve Woodley?
Here’s why: Woodley’s firm has been bought off just like the board.
They no longer represent the IAFF, they represent Harold Schaitberger.
And, that’s just the way he likes it.
The US Department of Labor needs to take a very close look at the crooks running the IAFF.
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