LARGO, Md. (Reform Sasscer) Nearly fifty years after John F. Kennedy first condemned corrupt leadership in the American labor movement, it is still plagued by rampant corruption, embezzlement, racketeering and influence from numerous organized crime organizations. From penny-ante theft to multi-million dollar embezzlement schemes, labor leaders continue to violate the trust of the members they claim to represent.
The labor movement is nothing but the sum of its many parts—millions of working Americans who have entrusted union leaders to spend a portion of their hard earned salary for the benefit of the collective good. Financially speaking, the sum of the movement’s parts total more than $10 billion dollars annually in mandatory dues and control another $400 billion in financial assets in strike funds, pension plans, and health care benefits.
In fact, in just the last five years, hundreds (maybe thousands) of labor leaders at all levels of the movement have been convicted of embezzlement, corruption, racketeering, or engaging in organized crime. The problem is rampant, getting worse, and yet the unions seemingly refuse to address it.
Here in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), Mr. Christian Rhodes, who is the current Chief of Staff for PGCPS, facilitates public corruption within the Prince George’s County Schools via various union representatives. Some of these individuals were his colleagues at his former employers the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and Prince George’s County Education Association (PGCEA) who are well connected.
In ACE-AFSCME Local 2250, corruption is facilitated and covered up by James E. Spears Jr., who is a Field Services Director and a former colleague of Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Daniel Besseck at MSEA, and Mrs. Theresa Mitchell Dudley. They coordinate willful violation of the law with Mr. Damon Felton, the attorney for MSEA and PGCPS Human resources personnel tied to them, in order to blackmail union members and PGCPS staff. The willful violations of civil rights and cover ups by these individuals, including County Executive Alsobrooks office, is an ongoing concern and others tied to PGCPS CEO Dr. Goldson.
In the past, the PGCPS working in conspiracy with MSEA and PGCEA used services of former MSEA attorney Mr. James Whattam. Whattam was promoted in an organized scheme to become PGCPS labor relations director. An investigation about Mr. James Whattam and Mr. Rhodes who have extensive ties to AFSCME Local 2250, PGCEA, MSEA and others need to be investigated and exposed.
There is evidence that Dr. Thornton’s role is driven by dirty politics in order cover up misconduct within the Prince George’s county public schools and in Maryland. Long before County Executive Alsobrooks made the announcement for Mr. Thornton to be the new PGCPS new Board Chair, this troubling revelation was already known. Dr. Thornton has links to the current President of Prince George’s County Community College, Dr. Charlene Dukes, who endorsed wrongful terminations after she was awarded about $10 million to start a charter school within the Prince George’s County community college when hearing concerning PGCPS corruption was in progress. This malicious activity was part of quid pro quo. A Motion to recuse her due to many conflicts of interests requesting her to step aside was presented to her and she refused. Dr. Thornton has strong links too with the Maryland State Education Association officers who interfered with arbitration and the lawyers whom employees had hired to represent them but were compromised during County Executive Alsobrooks tenure as the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney.
It is very interesting that former PGCEA teacher’s union director, Lou Robinson, became Labor Relations Director and prior to that a PGCEA Uniserv Representative, Susan Lesscer, began working in the PGCPS Labor Relations Office—both of whom were under the supervision of former PGCEA President, Kenneth Haines and a close friend of Mrs. Theresa Mitchell Dudley, who was allegedly conspiring with PGCPS leadership instead of supporting teachers which is why, he was ousted. Many of us have heard in a corrupt system, the corrupt are promoted meaning people who will engage in wrongful behavior if told to do so will apparently be promoted. This is wrong and a violation of employee rights.
Many violations in this county involve the use of the Unions including Prince George’s County Education Association (PGCEA) and Association of Supervisory & Administrative School Personnel (ASASP). Both organizations are advancing public corruption and cover up under Mrs. Theresa Mitchell Dudley and Ms. Doris Reed close friends of County Executive Alsobrooks and Dr. Monica Goldson. Mrs. Dudley, as the President of PGCEA has played several illegalities in allowing public corruption in the county schools and cover ups after she rigged her election in order to remain as President of PGCEA. She has also used union dues to hire outside activists to help hide major violations within the county schools. We have evidence and witnesses of these violations.
Please note that, Mrs. Dudley engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity when she advanced the selection of the current Board of Education Chairman Dr. Alvin Thornton. During a campaign meeting in PGCEA in the spring of 2018 to support Ben Jealous, a candidate for governor in Maryland, Mrs. Dudley was working with Dr. Thortorn and others (omitted parts which were highlighted concerning public corruption in Maryland involving the unions in PGCPS after presention of issues to the group). When notes were made to circulate in the social media, these items involving public corruption which we raised were no longer there. A member of PGCEA forwarded information concerning a double standard in pay increase in which Mrs. Dudley was accused of benefiting while calling out Dr. Kevin Maxwell and Mr. Christian Rhodes, who were advancing the same. Mrs. Dudley later retaliated against these issues due to the exposure.
If you want to know the source of most of monetary woes, public-sector unions are a good place to start — not just in Prince George’s County, but anywhere a local or state government is faced with stratospheric labor costs and corruption.
Call your Elected officials now and the media. Demand an end to this charade by the county officials!