ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis carpenters union council was dissolved in September amid "allegations of financial malfeasance," the union's national leader said.
The statement from Douglas McCarron, general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC), came in a November declaration in a federal lawsuit filed the prior month seeking to "halt" or reverse the merger of the St. Louis branch into one based in Chicago. It was filed by Jonathan Gould, who says he's a 22-year member of the St. Louis branch "in good standing," and seeks a trusteeship for the St. Louis council.
The national union, based in Washington, D.C., had said only that it dissolved the St. Louis branch in September "to increase oversight of operations, reduce costs, maximize available resources and increase market competitiveness." The local leader, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Albert Bond, was ousted, and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters took over locally, boosting its membership by 20,000.
McCarron said in the declaration that the UBC had received an anonymous complaint about the St. Louis council from a "purported former employee." He also said a council employee approached Mike Kwiakowski, a UBC international representative, "with information regarding concerns about the St. Louis Council's operations."
Kwiakowski and two other UBC representative "were assigned to look into the allegations concerning the St. Louis Council's operations, including allegations of financial malfeasance," McCarron said, adding that they issued preliminary findings and that the investigation was ongoing as of November.
McCarron also said that he consulted with Mark McGriff, the UBC's district vice president for the Midwestern District, and that "it became apparent that the St. Louis Council was not functioning properly and in the best interests of the membership."
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