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Feds tell IATSE to redo election

Investigation found four violations

The federal government will supervise a rerun of last December’s election for officers for the Hollywood local representing script supervisors after a Dept. of Labor investigation found four violations in how the vote was conducted.

The executive board of the local, which operates as Local 871 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, elected Sunday to agree to the supervised revote after the feds notified the local of its findings.

No date has been set for the rerun, which will include the president, VP, treasurer, board of directors, board of trustees and convention delegates. The Dept. of Labor told the local that if it did not agree voluntarily to a rerun, it would face a federal lawsuit.

The Dept. of Labor and the local’s secretary, Dooner, had no comment about the issue. The investigation had been prompted by a complaint from within the local over how the election was conducted.

Two of the violations cited by the Dept. of Labor in its investigative findings said there had been use of union funds for campaign purposes.

The feds cited a campaign letter posted on the local’s Website as “election news” by past president Pamela Alch in support of candidates Michele Tedlis for president and Cassandra Barrere for VP (both of whom eventually won) and attacking their respective opponents, J. Graigory for president and Allison Curren for VP.

The DOL also cited a letter by Alch – titled “Members of Local 871 — Let’s Vote for the Right Candidates” –that was mailed to members by former business agent Lainie Miller. The DOL found that the letter mailed by Miller was in violation because its mailing granted discriminatory treatment to Alch by not affording other candidates the same opportunity, as prescribed in the local’s campaign policy.

The feds also found violations due to three ballots not being counted, and for Barrere exceeding a 50-word limit in a campaign posting.

The DOL noted that its findings were “not to be construed as a final determination by the Secretary of Labor that violations have occurred which may have affected the outcome of the election.”

The most recent intervention by the Dept. of Labor in a Hollywood election came three years ago when the Writers Guild of America West agreed to federal oversight after department investigators found the guild had not properly qualified Victoria Riskin as a candidate for president. Riskin had been ineligible to run because she had not worked under a WGA contract for the previous four years.

NOTE: The above story was amended on June 29, 2007. It corrected the fact that “Let’s Vote for the Right Candidates” was the title of the mailed letter, not the online letter. It also corrected the DOL’s concerns about that mailing. Also added was the DOL’s quote about the Secretary of Labor.

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