Union for youth officers piles up woes for leader

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Then, in 2009, when Mr. Crawley was assigned to a union position dealing with disciplinary matters, DYRS management decided a conflict might exist and reassigned him, this time to a “different, non-union position description having duties that might be considered managerial/supervisory in nature,” according to the Stokes letter.

In fact, DCHR’s position description for Mr. Crawley says he is in the “management and program analysis series.” But that didn’t stop him from walking into the Laurel Wells Fargo in March and trying to access the union’s bank account, according to a statement given to police by bank manager Rafael Olazagasti. And though Mr. Crawley eventually succeeded in taking over the account, the bank manager froze it after Ms. Brown “clarified the circumstances,” according to the PERB complaint.

Mr. Crawley did not remove any funds, according to the bank manager’s statement.

Cause for concern

Charles Tucker, DCHR general counsel, recently told The Times that cause for concern exists whenever a supervisor or manager is involved with a labor union because it means wearing two hats. But he acknowledged the possibility that under previous leadership, the union and DYRS came to an understanding that allowed Mr. Crawley to wear two hats.

He said DYRS officials and the labor relations office likely would have a record of such an arrangement, yet neither agency has disclosed one.

Mr. Tucker added that Ms. Brown seems to be detail-oriented, credible and centered on her members’ well-being.

“This seems to be all because of an election,” Mr. Tucker said. “Tasha lost and Takisha won, and Tasha’s board remained in effect, and Cedric ran the board as if Takisha didn’t win.”

A veteran labor lawyer who has dealt with similar controversies said federal law prohibits managers and supervisors from serving as union officers, even if they are allowed into the union via collective bargaining or a memorandum of understanding.

As to Mr. Crawley’s position changes at DYRS, the lawyer said DYRS “shouldn’t monkey around with job descriptions for purposes of allowing managers to keep their positions as union officials.”

If someone is involved with illegal financial dealings within a union, the lawyer said, “That’s a police issue.”

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