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Former SEIU prez Andy Stern, other Purple Army officials, under FBI investigation

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 28, 2010 10:20 AM

You know, maybe all those SEIU workers who will be bussed in for the left-wing Washington rally this weekend ought to take a detour and protest at the SEIU headquarters instead.

Fresh off the wires, news of the FBI’s corruption probe of the Purple Army:

The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation. The FBI and the Labor Department’s office of inspector general declined to comment for the record.

The disclosure about the federal inquiry of Stern – who abruptly resigned as president of the 2.2-million member SEIU in April – comes just weeks ahead of contentious congressional elections in which the union is spending an estimated $44 million to support its favored Democratic candidates.

The SEIU has been plagued with several financial scandals since 2008, when the Los Angeles Times reported that Tyrone Freeman, head of the union’s largest California local, misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union. The union ousted Freeman and demanded that he return the money. No federal charges have been filed against him, but SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said the union has been cooperating with the FBI.

Regular readers of this blog and readers of Culture of Corruption are already quite familiar with Freeman and his free-spending ways.

Here’s what I noted when Stern resigned in April:

Behind the scenes and under the radar screen, as I’ve reported over the last year, Stern has installed a cadre of labor management stooges embroiled in financial scandals across the country and rankled rank-and-file watchdogs within the Big Labor organization. Obama paid no heed – appointing Stern to the federal joke of a “fiscal responsibility” panel.

And while fatcat union bosses toss hundreds of millions of dues into Democrat coffers, low-wage SEIU members’ pension funds are eroding and the organization’s debt is piling up. The union also remains under investigation by federal prosecutors for potential illegal lobbying activities at the White House.

A nasty fight in San Francisco with a rival union, UNITE HERE, has caused Stern major headaches and litigation costs.

As I reported in December, health care workers in Washington state also revolted against SEIU pressure.

And the Blago scandal, in which Stern plays a central role, still looms.

Union heavies don’t just relinquish their control and throw themselves under the bus for the standard bogus Beltway excuses (the need to “spend more time with family,” etc.).

This smells. Stay tuned.

Big Labor rationalization in 3, 2, 1…It’s all the Tea Party’s fault!

***

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Jim Hoft reports another SEIU official is under investigation…“for possible connections to overseas terror groups.”

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