An SEIU Local 1000 board member is asking a judge to remove the union’s elected president from power and to bar him from pursuing re-election, escalating a months-long power struggle within an organization that represents 100,000 California state employees.
In a recent lawsuit filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, board member Bill Hall accused Local 1000 President Richard Louis Brown of misusing union money and of preventing the board from running the organization. Hall alleges in the lawsuit that Brown violated union rules when he unilaterally decided to spend money on political campaigns, purchase software, pay off a $6 million loan on the union’s midtown Sacramento headquarters and give union employees an extra six days off — all without approval from the board and without disclosing details to them.
The legal filing asks a judge to intervene in an internal dispute that has been building since shortly after Brown took office at the end of June, following an election in which he unseated longtime union leader Yvonne Walker.
Its president is responsible for leading the union in contract negotiations with the governor’s office, presiding over union operations between board meetings and managing the union’s staff.
Hall said Brown has begun to retaliate against some board members who voted against the spending proposal, including by launching recall campaigns against them. “What’s at stake is the future of Local 1000 and working for the benefit of all the members where the board is engaged and involved,” Hall said.
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