A former business manager of the Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 45, which represents about 1,700 television and radio technicians, was indicted Friday on charges of embezzling more than $63,000 in union funds.
James Earl Jackson, a 58-year-old Los Angeles resident, was named in a 46-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury following an investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Jackson served as chief financial officer and business manager in charge of Local 45’s collective bargaining agreements from 1989 until he was removed from office in August 1997.
The indictment says Jackson first embezzled money from his union in August 1993, according to Asst. U.S. Attorney Elaine Lu. The document says also that Jackson used his union American Express card for unauthorized, non-union purposes from July 1994 until he left the local. He is alleged to have charged items such as Caribbean cruise tickets, airline and hotel expenses for family and friends, jewelry and a $3,200 fur coat to the union’s credit card, and to have ordered the local’s bookkeeper to pay the bill every month.
U.S. Attorney Nora M. Manella said Jackson also was charged with using union funds to pay for unauthorized car expenses and insurance as well as for his daughter’s health insurance over the four-year period.
Jackson could not be reached for comment.
Lloyd Webster, who replaced Jackson as business manager, said his predecessor is “a really nice person” and that the indictment would come as “a real shock to a lot of people when it hits the news.”
“I’m really saddened about the whole situation,” Webster said.
Local 45 represents sound, lighting and camera technicians and engineers at TV and radio stations in California and elsewhere. The union has collective bargaining agreements with the TV stations KCBS, KCAL, KRON and KPIX; the radio outlets KIIS and KNX; and with communication engineering units of the L.A. public school system and the city and county governments.