- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Caleb A. Gray-Burriss, chief executive of a District-based union for special police officers and security guards, still has the support of the majority of union members despite a federal investigation into his handling of pension and health plan dues, his attorney said yesterday.

“Upon the conclusion of the government’s investigation, we are confident Mr. Burriss will be vindicated,” said attorney Howard R. Shmuckler.

The Washington Times reported Monday that federal authorities recently executed a search warrant seeking union-related documents at Mr. Burriss’ home in the District last month.

Mr. Burriss started the National Association of Special Police and Security Officers (NASPSO) in the basement of his home 13 years ago with no members. Today it represents 800 members, Mr. Shmuckler said.

According to an affidavit filed by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor, investigators are looking into Mr. Burriss’ handling of more than $100,000 in pension and health plan dues.

Documents filed in federal court in the District also show investigators seized bank statements, checks, receipts and other union documents.

Mr. Shmuckler said he and his client expect to meet with investigators within the next few weeks to learn more about the investigation.

The attorney also said Mr. Burriss’ union has been “besieged by rival unions in hostile takeover attempts.”

“Despite unsubstantiated allegations, Mr. Burriss still enjoys the support of the majority of NASPSO’s membership,” Mr. Shmuckler said.

The investigation, headed by the racketeering and fraud unit of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor, focuses on “numerous withdrawals by Burriss that did not appear to be for the benefit of NASPSO members,” according to a search-warrant affidavit.

Regulators sought to remove Mr. Burriss as trustee for the union’s pension and health plans last year after the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration found “numerous, ongoing withdrawals” and about $95,000 in missing dues, according to court records.

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