Local Union Official Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

An officer with the local plasterers union pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $28,000 in December, according to information released from the U.S. Department of Labor.In a release last week, the federal labor department reported that Paula Adair-Butts, former office secretary for the Colorado-based Plasterers Local 577, pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds totaling $28,480.

Although further details of the case weren’t reported, it is not the first time the plasterers local has been in hot water with federal officials. In 2001, another union secretary pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling unions funds and was required to pay restitution of more than $30,000.

On August 13, 2001, in the United States District Court for Colorado, Shelly Sue Pfeiffer, former bookkeeper-office secretary for Plasterers Local 577 pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling union funds. She was ordered to make restitution of $30,863.55 to the union’s bonding company and was sentenced to six months of home detention monitored by an electronic device and five years’ probation. The charges had been brought following an investigation by the OLMS Denver District Office.

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), a division of the U.S. Labor Department that enforces federal union regulations, conducted the investigation.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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