Former president of Signal Hill-based union sentenced for concealing records

The former president of United Steelworkers Local 2801 was sentenced Monday to probation and fined $500 after pleading guilty to removing records linked to the alleged theft of about $16,000 from the union’s Signal Hill office.

Joan Dutton pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to a misdemeanor count of concealment, withholding and destruction of labor union records, a charge that carries a possible yearlong prison sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sylvia R. Ewald said Dutton removed the records in 2010 after the union announced a pending audit.

Co-defendant Tatia Clark, the local’s former office manager, is expected to plead guilty and face sentencing on the same misdemeanor charge on June 10.    Dutton and Clark were charged in July 2016 in a four-count felony indictment, which alleged conspiracy, aiding and abetting, embezzlement, and concealment of records, followed by an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the two-year probationary sentence for Dutton.

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