Department of Labor audit reveals lavish spending of firefighter union dues
February 7, 2018
[Madison, WI] — Union boss Mahlon Mitchell is living large off hard-working firefighters. Details of a Department of Labor audit of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin detail how Mitchell, the president, spent thousands of dollars on hotels and meals without proper documentation. On top of it all, Mitchell even went so far as saying yesterday that he is making “an OK living” despite a recent story detailing how Mitchell makes $200,000 a year – several times what the average hard-working Wisconsinite makes.
“Not only has union boss Mahlon Mitchell used firefighters’ dues to advance his political career and fund his liberal special interest allies, but now we find out that he used union dues to line his own pockets,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin families deserve better than Mitchell’s record of funding his own personal and political interests on the backs of the firefighters he claims to represent.”
Check out the full story on the audit of Mahlon Mitchell’s union here, or find excerpts below:
Mahlon Mitchell says Wisconsin firefighters union has made changes based on critical 2015 audit
The Cap Times
February 6, 2018
The state firefighters’ union has made recommended changes since a 2015 U.S. Department of Labor audit found it did not adequately document expenses including hotels, meals and reimbursements for its leaders, its president said Tuesday.
It found that the union did not retain proper documentation for disbursements to vendors, payments to officers and 274 credit card charges totaling about $69,000. For example, Mitchell did not keep adequate supporting documentation for a $1,692.39 charge at Hilton Hotels in Washington, D.C. for the International Association of Fire Fighters Legislative Conference.
The audit also noted 22 meal expenses totaling about $1,000 — an average of about $45 per meal — that only Mitchell or secretary-treasurer Steve Wilding were present for and were eaten either before or after conducting union business.
“The fact that these meals take place at a time when you and Mr. Wilding would otherwise normally be paying for meals yourselves appears to indicate that the meals are more for the personal benefit of you and Mr. Wilding rather than necessary for conducting official union business,” the investigator wrote.
Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman said the examples cited in the audit show that Mitchell “used union dues to line his own pockets.”
“Wisconsin families deserve better than Mitchell’s record of funding his own personal and political interests on the backs of the firefighters he claims to represent,” Zimmerman said in an email.
Zimmerman pointed to a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that showed Mitchell earned a total of $199,837 last year between his job leading the union and serving as a lieutenant in the Madison Fire Department.
The Journal Sentinel report found that since 2011, the union’s political action fund has donated a total of $129,250 to state candidates and PACs, 98 percent of which went to Democrats and liberal groups.
Read the full story here.