By Matt Mencarini – August 26, 2015
GRAND RAPIDS – The president of the state and local unions for U.S. Postal Service workers was indicted in federal court this month on an embezzlement charge.
Jesus Miguel Gonzales is charged with embezzlement and theft of labor union assets and falsification of financial records required to be kept by labor union.
Gonzales is president of the Michigan Postal Workers’ Union and for the union’s Central Michigan area, which includes Lansing.
Gonzales and his attorney, Donald Cataldo, didn’t immediately return a messages seeking comment.
The local union has a policy to reimburse its officers for lost wages when they miss work during scheduled work hours to attend to union business, according to the indictment, which was filed in federal court in Grand Rapids.
Gonzales embezzled $6,720.63 from the union between Jan. 1, 2012 and April 10, 2014 “by submitting duplicate reimbursement vouchers … and by submitting fraudulent reimbursement vouchers for times when he had not actually lost wages,” according to the indictment.
The fraudulent vouchers were submitted for days or times when Gonzales was scheduled to be off or was on paid leave, paid sick leave or family medical leave, according to indictment. He also submitted reimbursement vouchers for times when he was working at the Post Office.
Gonzales faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Representatives for the state, local and national American Postal Workers’ Union offices couldn’t be reached for comment.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Gonzales is listed on the Michigan Postal Worker’s Union’s website as its president and president of the Central Michigan area.