Federal authorities are investigating $150,000 in consulting fees that LA’s powerful Service Employees International Union paid to its disgraced ex-leader, the LA Times reports. The US Attorney last year considered using the payment as the basis for an embezzlement charge against that leader, one Alejandro Stephens, but decided against it. Now, Stephens is headed to prison on other charges, but authorities are still questioning SEIU officials about the payments agreed to by then-President Andy Stern.
Investigators want to know if the SEIU ever expected Stephens to do anything for the money. A spokeswoman for the union says that Stephens “violated the terms of his … agreement with the union, and we are aggressively seeking the return of all payments made to him.” She added, “Alejandro Stephens has had no role or involvement with the union for several years.” Stephens says he did the work required under the 2007 contract, and says the union still owes him $75,000.