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Don't You Just Love That DLC Process?!?

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  • Don't You Just Love That DLC Process?!?

    Union leader arrested, charged with bribery

    WASHINGTON — The president of a national railroad employees union was arrested at his Ohio home on Tuesday and charged with bribery.

    Edward Rodzwicz, who heads the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, is accused of soliciting and accepting $20,000 in bribes from a St. Louis lawyer. In exchange, prosecutors say, Rodzwicz allowed the lawyer to remain on a list of attorneys approved to handle injury cases for union members.
    That attorney was supposed to be removed from the list due to alleged ethical violations.
    The attorney, who is not identified in court papers, informed officials at the Labor Department’s office of inspector general as soon as he was contacted by Rodzwicz, according to a complaint. The attorney then cooperated with Labor officials as they investigated.
    The complaint alleges that Rodzwicz accepted a $10,000 cash payment from the attorney on April 28 in Las Vegas. After sending a letter allowing the attorney to keep the designation, Rodzwicz accepted a second $10,000 payment in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 16, according to prosecutors.
    Federal agents arrested Rodzwicz on Tuesday at his home in Avon, Ohio. A criminal complaint was filed against him last week in federal district court in St. Louis, but was suppressed until the arrest.
    If convicted, Rodzwicz faces up to 15 years in prison and possible fines up to $500,000.
    There was no telephone listing for Rodzwicz in Avon, Ohio, and a phone message left with the railroad union’s headquarters was not immediately returned late Tuesday.
    In a statement, Daniel Petrole, the Labor Department’s acting inspector general, called the allegations “a serious breach of the union members’ trust.”
    The railroad union has 55,000 members nationwide and is a division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Rodzwicz became president in March 2008.
    Teamsters spokeswoman Leigh Strope said the union had just learned of the charges and would have no immediate comment.
    The Teamsters union has operated under federal oversight since 1989. Under a federal consent decree, government-appointed monitors have worked to investigate and root out mob corruption from the union.


    Steve Gordon Comment:
    As you know, the law firm is not designated by any railroad union. As you further know, we once tried to become designated but, the most honest description of what happened, it would best be described as "the door of possibility never opened". So....when I read this article and I think of how hard our firm, and other non-DLC firms work day in and day out for the betterment of the lives of railroaders, reading this article truly sickens me. How stupid....how greedy....how criminal...how unfair! Not unfair to Gordon & Elias, but unfair to the Union members this whole process is! If I had a vote, which I do not, I would disband the entire Designated Legal Counsel process and I would make a national board certification process in FELA law. If you pass, you get the certification that you are "Board Certified in FELA Law"; if you fail, you do not get it. Then, when a railroader is hurt, they could ask, "Are you Board Certified in FELA?". It is time for this "good ol' boy" "back scratching", "palm greasing" system to get the heck out of your lives. You know it and I know it! Not all DLC are bad. In fact the far majority are good people and hard working...but so are many non-DLC...the process is fundamentally flawed.


    It needs to be (1) what you know and (2) what kind of LEGAL WORK you will do for the Union member and not who you take hunting, who you take fishing, who you take to a strip joint, etc......


    But...then again....who am I?



    Steve Gordon
    FELA Lawyers

    Last edited by FELA FELLA; 10-14-2009, 04:18 AM.
    Steve Gordon
    Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
    FELA Lawyer
    FELA Lawyer Blog
    Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
    Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
    800-773-6770

  • #2
    BLET President arrested on bribery charges
    Published: October 13th 2009Source: PRNewswire-USNewswireEdward W. Rodzwicz, President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, was arrested on a federal complaint charging him with bribery, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today.

    Rodzwicz is the sitting President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a national labor union with over 55,000 members consisting of railroad employees throughout the United States. It is a division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

    According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, the BLET maintains a list of designated legal counsel (DLC), who are recommended to their membership to handle injury cases under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Designation as a DLC generates very lucrative business for designated attorneys. The National President of the BLET has final authority over the designation of FELA attorneys. In February 2009, an internal compliance committee recommended that a particular DLC attorney for the BLET should lose his designation, due to alleged violations of DLC Rules of Conduct. On March 10, 2009, Rodzwicz approached that attorney in Little Rock, Ark., and solicited a payment from that attorney in exchange for allowing him to retain his DLC designation. The DLC attorney contacted the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. In subsequent meetings at the attorney's office in St. Louis, and at Harrah's Casino, Las Vegas, Rodzwicz solicited and agreed to accept a cash payment of $10,000 from the attorney, plus the promise of an additional cash payment of $10,000 after Rodzwicz allowed him to retain his designation. Rodzwicz accepted a cash payment from the attorney on April 28, 2009, in Las Vegas, and he sent a letter allowing the attorney to retain his designation on May 1, 2009. He accepted a second cash payment of $10,000 from the attorney on Sept. 16, 2009, in Kansas City, Mo.

    The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Missouri last week and remained suppressed until the arrest of Mr. Rodzwicz this morning by agents with the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, at his home in Avon, Ohio.

    Daniel R. Petrole, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, stated: "Union members expect that their officials will do what is right on their behalf. If these allegations are proven, there has been a serious breach of the union members' trust. My agency will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate this type of crime."

    Rodzwicz, 63, was charged with one violation of 18 U.S.C. section 666, bribery in connection with a federally funded program; and one violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1952, interstate travel to carry on unlawful activity. He made his initial appearance this afternoon in Cleveland.

    If convicted, 18 U.S.C. section 666 carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000; 18 U.S.C. section 1952 carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.

    The charges set forth in a complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

    SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

    Steve Gordon
    Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
    FELA Lawyer
    FELA Lawyer Blog
    Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
    Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
    800-773-6770

    Comment


    • #3
      Whos the Lawyer

      Does anyone know who the lawyer or law firm is that's involved?

      Comment


      • #4
        DLC involved w/ bribery

        DLC was Dennis Rathmann out of St. Louis w/ Rathmann & Associates
        Last edited by BoxerKatB; 10-14-2009, 10:17 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Let's also keep in mind... two sides to every story... and innocent until proven guilty in America.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BoxerKatB View Post
            Let's also keep in mind... two sides to every story... and innocent until proven guilty in America.
            You are absolutely right! ....I stupidly though O.J. was guilty till a jury found him innocent.

            SG
            Steve Gordon
            Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
            FELA Lawyer
            FELA Lawyer Blog
            Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
            Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
            800-773-6770

            Comment


            • #9
              Money sure can make even the good guy stupid.
              "I HAVE MADE MY FINAL POST ON THIS FORUM. MY THANKS TO A FEW WHO HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFULL, HOWEVER I AM NOT GOING TO WASTE MY VALUABLE REST, READING AND RESPONDING TO "US vs THEM" VITRIOLIC PEOPLE."

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by JohnEasley View Post
                Money sure can make even the good guy stupid.
                "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
                Steve Gordon
                Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
                FELA Lawyer
                FELA Lawyer Blog
                Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
                Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
                800-773-6770

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by FELA FELLA View Post
                  "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

                  Partly why I don't want any power.
                  sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Rail Union BLET Names President- Will the DLC Selection Process Change?

                    Rail Union BLET Names President


                    John D. Boyd | Nov 23, 2009 10:45PM GMT
                    The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
                    Paul T. Sorrow takes over after indictment of Edward W. Rodzwicz


                    Paul T. Sorrow became national president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen in the wake of bribery charges last month against then-President Edward W. Rodzwicz.
                    The BLET is the nation’s second-largest rail labor group, behind only the train conductors’ United Transportation Union.
                    Sorrow had held the second-highest job at the engineers’ union, that of first vice president, from April 2008 until he became acting president Oct. 15 when Rodzwicz began a leave of absence.
                    The U.S. Department of Justice charged Rodzwicz with bribery, alleging he demanded payment from an attorney to allow that lawyer to handle liability cases as a designated legal counsel for union members.
                    The engineers’ group is a unit of the Teamsters union. The BLET said Rodzwicz also resigned as president of the Teamsters Rail Conference and intends to retire.
                    Before taking the first vice president’s job, Sorrow had been a BLET vice president for nearly 17 years, including a period as chief of staff at the union’s national division headquarters during the mid-1990s.


                    COMMENT: Congratulations to Mr. Paul Sorrow on his new appointment. It would be nice to see if he will attack the DLC process and truly, and permanently, institute procedures so that competent FELA counsel can test and become a DLC through what they know as opposed to the possibility of who they know. As you know, this DLC selection process has been a problem for years and years; probably because there is money involved. But, in the final analysis, it is the Members that are what this is all about and not the pockets of the Union officials. What a glorious opportunity Mr. Sorrow has before him to truly change the system. Only time will tell whether he uses his powers for the benefit of the members or not.


                    Steve Gordon
                    FELA Lawyer
                    Steve Gordon
                    Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
                    FELA Lawyer
                    FELA Lawyer Blog
                    Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
                    Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
                    800-773-6770

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Labor union exec pleads guilty to bribery charges


                      Thursday, March 4, 2010


                      Edward W. Rodzwicz, 63, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen pleaded guilty to bribery charges Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
                      Rodzwicz was the sitting president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, (BLET), a national labor union with over 55,000 members consisting of railroad employees throughout the United States. It is a division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
                      According to court documents:
                      • The BLET maintains a list of designated legal counsel (DLC), who are recommended to their membership to handle injury cases under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Designation as a DLC generates very lucrative business for designated attorneys. The national president of the BLET has critical influence over the designation of FELA attorneys. In February 2009, an internal compliance committee recommended that a particular DLC attorney for the BLET should lose his or her designation, due to alleged violations of DLC Rules of Conduct. On March 10, 2009, Rodzwicz approached that attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas and solicited a payment from that attorney in exchange for allowing him to retain his or her DLC designation. The DLC attorney contacted the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. In subsequent meetings at the attorney’s office in St. Louis and at Harrah’s Casino, Las Vegas, Nev., Rodzwicz solicited and agreed to accept a cash payment of $10,000 from the attorney, plus the promise of an additional cash payment of $10,000 after Rodzwicz allowed him to retain his or her designation. Rodzwicz accepted a cash payment from the attorney on April 28, 2009, in Las Vegas, and he sent a letter allowing the attorney to retain his designation on May 1, 2009. He accepted a second cash payment of $10,000 from the attorney on Sept. 16, 2009, in Kansas City.

                      Daniel R. Petrole, Deputy Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, said, "Labor racketeering within a union represents a betrayal of the trust of its members. Today's guilty plea highlights the efforts of the Office of Inspector General to identify and bring to justice a high-level union official who solicited and accepted bribes. My office remains fully committed to working with the U.S. Attorney to prevent these types of crimes."
                      Rodzwicz pleaded guilty to one felony count of bribery in connection with a federally funded program and one felony count of interstate travel to carry on unlawful activity.

                      Rodzwicz faces up to ten years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 on the bribery charge and five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 for interstate travel to carry on unlawful activity.

                      Sentencing has been set for June 3 in federal court in St. Louis.
                      Steve Gordon
                      Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
                      FELA Lawyer
                      FELA Lawyer Blog
                      Serving Injured Railroad Employees Nationwide
                      Call for a FELA Lawyer 24/7/365
                      800-773-6770

                      Comment

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