- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Union leaders in Lansing face possible suspensions or expulsion from their association after speaking to a newspaper.

Brent Heyer, Michael Walker and Mark Sanchez Jr. have been charged with a variety of alleged offenses under the Michigan State Employees Association constitution, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/2iKddPP ) reported. The charges came after the union leaders spoke out against the association’s president, Ken Moore, accusing him of misusing union funds.

Dan Matthies, a former association vice president, brought the charges against Heyer, Walker and Sanchez. He said in a letter that the actions of the union leaders caused irreparable harm to the association by leaking internal and confidential information to the Detroit Free Press.

A central issue in the dispute is Moore’s decision to appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals National Labor Relations Board ruling in August that said Moore and the association broke federal labor laws in actions they took against their own employees, including refusals to turn over information as well as illegal firings and discipline. Moore’s decision to appeal was later ratified by the union board in a divided vote.

Heyer, who resigned as union vice president in November, is scheduled to stand trial Saturday before a panel of union members selected by the association’s executive council.

Sanchez said he feels confident the association will not win the case because Heyer has the right to free speech and didn’t disclose any confidential information.

Walker and Sanchez’s trials are expected at a later date.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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