BURR RIDGE, Ill. — The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has removed leaders of Local 731 based in suburban Burr Ridge after an audit turned up questionable and excessive spending on everything from steak to booze and bonuses.
It totaled well over $1 million.
A letter sent by Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien to local members said an audit found Local 731’s board gave itself nearly $304,000 in bonuses over five years without the required approval of membership.
Auditors also questioned nearly $66,000 in spending they said was excessive or unrelated to union business. It includes two visits to Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse that racked up a total tab of $37,000, including nearly $16,000 in alcohol. The audit also questioned $924,000 in donations and contributions the union made in recent years without membership approval.
“The violations and wrongdoing identified above are not a complete list,” O’Brien wrote in the letter to members. “It is clear that the Local 731 Executive Board will continue to violate legally required rules and procedures unless they are stopped from doing so by the imposition of this emergency trusteeship.”
O’Brien’s letter laid part of the blame on Local 731 principal officer Terry Hancock. It said he and the board should have known there was no legitimate union purpose for purchases that included a Coach leather bag, trunk and roof spoilers for union vehicles and a manicure for Hancock.
“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has a new administration and as soon as we became aware of the issues at this local we took immediate action,” a union spokesperson told WGN. “The International placed the local in an emergency trusteeship so that the members can receive the representation that they are entitled to and deserve.”
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has turned over information to the United States Department of Labor.
Calls to Hancock’s office did not go through.