Bloomberg BNA, Labor Report
Carpenters Former Council Leader Sues Carpenters, Claims Supervision of SWRCC Is Illegal
October 17, 2013, By Jewel Edwards
Oct. 10— Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters’ former executive secretary-treasurer Michael McCarron, who was removed from his elected offices in July, Oct. 4 filed a lawsuit against the Carpenters and Joiners of America and his brother, Carpenters General President Douglas McCarron, alleging that Douglas ejected Michael from his position in the union through an illegally imposed trusteeship (McCarron v. Carpenters, C.D. Cal., 8:13-cv-01559-JVS-AN, complaint filed 10/4/13).
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Douglas McCarron violated Section 302 of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act when he breached the union’s constitutional rules for implementing a trusteeship on a council or local branch of the union.
LMRDA Section 302 states that labor organizations must abide by their union constitutions and bylaws when establishing a trusteeship over a subordinate body of the organization.
According to the complaint, Douglas McCarron illegally delegated his authority to place the SWRCC under emergency supervision to Carpenters union Vice President Douglas Banes without holding a hearing to determine whether the emergency supervision was necessary (59 CLR 713, 8/1/13).
Banes placed Local 1506, where Michael McCarron also served as executive secretary-treasurer, under a de facto trusteeship.
In the complaint, Michael McCarron also claimed that his brother’s actions to remove him from his elected office stem from a sibling dispute over the handling of the family trust that was left in Michael’s care after the death of his and Douglas’s mother in May.
Michael McCarron, along with plaintiffs and former union officers Michael Olds and Lindsey Maldoon, are seeking reinstatement to their elected offices within the council and Local 1506 and an order enjoining Douglas McCarron and Banes from establishing another trusteeship over SWRCC for a period of time.
Carpenters union representatives did not comment on the filed complaint.
Leaders Make Accusations Before Hearing
A copy of the Carpenters’ constitution accompanying the complaint states in Section 10 Paragraph H that the general president “may appoint a committee to hold a hearing after due notice to such subordinate body or member” if it appears that a Carpenters council or local is “acting contrary to the welfare” of the union.
Paragraph H also states the general president “may appoint a representative to assume supervision over any Local Union or Council pending the holding of a hearing” if an emergency situation at a council or local exists.
In the complaint, Michael McCarron claims that there was no emergency situation at the SWRCC and that the internal charges of illegal conduct brought against him by Douglas McCarron and the council’s acting secretary-treasurer Michael Draper are unjustifiable.
One month before imposing the emergency supervision, Douglas McCarron and Draper brought internal charges again Michael McCarron for allegedly violating the Carpenters’ constitution by misusing union funds (59 CLR 803, 8/22/13).
Michael McCarron has been accused of overcharging the SWRCC’s training fund to rent training centers in California, Arizona and Utah and using the excess payments from the fund to inflate his salary and that of several officers.
Michael McCarron has disputed the charges and states in the complaint that nearly $5 million in overpaid rent was refunded to the training fund on May 31. The council’s executive committee ratified the payment at its June meeting, the complaint states.
After the charges were filed, Douglas McCarron allegedly gave Banes the authority to place the SWRCC under emergency supervision and impose trusteeship over the council. According to the complaint, “nothing in the constitution authorizes the general president to delegate such authority to the general vice president.”
In addition, Douglas McCarron and Banes allegedly violated the Carpenters’ constitution when they decided to avoid holding a fair hearing to assess the so-called emergency situation before placing the council under trusteeship, the complaint states.
A Carpenters representative confirmed to Bloomberg BNA Oct. 10 that Banes has scheduled a hearing to review the emergency supervision on Oct. 16, and all members of the regional council have been notified.
Family Feud Allegedly Bled into Union Affairs
Michael McCarron has spoken out on the charges against him and the trusteeship, claiming that his brother made plans to remove him from his position at the council after their mother died.
According to the complaint, Douglas McCarron allegedly told Michael McCarron that he was “done” during their mother’s funeral on May 24.
According to a statement from Michael McCarron and a camp of supporters who operate a website called “Stand With Mike,” Michael McCarron was a trustee to his mother’s estate “and this fact infuriated Doug, because he had no control over the estate and Mike did not want to liquidate it as Doug demanded.”
Michael McCarron’s complaint states that he and his wife have been co-trustees on his mother’s estate since Aug. 6, 2004.
Carpenters union leaders contest Michael McCarron’s claims that the emergency supervision is related to a family dispute.