Association for Union Democracy

Update: EST Michael Bilello Vetoed

On April 29, 2013, Review Officer Walsh issued a Notice of Veto by the Review Officer concerning Executive Secretary-Treasurer Michael Bilello, who had been served with a Notice of Possible Action on March 26. Walsh’s Notice of Veto reiterates the points made in the Notice of Possible Action, namely that EST Bilello “caused or attempted to cause employer compensation for members to be directed to the NYCDCC Welfare Fund” in violation of Section 21 of the District Council Bylaws; directed a business representative from the District Council to improperly enforce the collective bargaining agreement at the Javits Center, later making false statements to the Review Officer regarding the incident; failed to continue to develop the business representative cross-training program that had been implemented by previous leadership at the recommendation of the Review Officer; and failed to review minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Benefit Funds with the District Council Executive Board, in violation of Section 10(L) of the District Council Bylaws.

Walsh’s Chief Investigator, Jack N. Mitchell, submitted a statement backing up the claims made in both Notices. Mitchell elaborated on several of Walsh’s statements, noting that Section 21 of the District Council Bylaws states that only the Delegate Body of the District Council can decide allocations to the various benefit funds. In deciding those allocations himself, Bilello overstepped the bounds of his authority as EST. Mitchell also detailed the situation surrounding Bilello allowing a suspended member to work at the Javits center. The member, from Local 157, was not a member in good standing due to nonpayment of dues. When he arrived for work on March 22, 2013 and was told that he could not work that day, the member called the District Council, eventually speaking to Bilello directly. According to Mitchell, the member told Bilello that he had obtained a loan from his union annuity account and was expecting a check within the next few days with which he would pay his back dues. At that point, Bilello authorized him to work, despite knowing that a suspension was still in place.

On May 7, 2013, Stephen McInnis, President of the NYCDCC appointed himself EST Pro Tem and will serve until an election is held for someone to serve out the rest of the term on a permanent basis. Bilello is contesting the veto and has submitted a response to Walsh’s veto to Judge Berman.

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