Former labor union official pleads guilty to soliciting, accepting bribes

Former labor union official pleads guilty to soliciting, accepting bribes

The former president of a New Jersey International Longshoremen's Association branch pleaded guilty Wednesday to soliciting and accepting $150,000 in bribes from an employer to act contrary to union rank-and-file members' interests, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

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Glenn Blicht, who took office as president of Local 1964 in 2009, collected bribes, which he referred to as "tickets," in $1,000 increments in exchange for declining to file arbitration claims on behalf of workers. He engaged in the scheme for about 10 years, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman.

"As the president of a labor union, Glenn Blicht's duty was to fight for his union members. Instead, for many years, he demanded and accepted bribes – and in return, he sold out his union members. Our Office is committed to prosecuting those who abuse positions of trust for their own gain," Berman said in a statement.

Blicht pleaded guilty to one count of demanding or receiving prohibited payments as a labor union official, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, and made a plea agreement under which he is banned from being employed by a union or employee benefit plan for 13 years. Blicht also will forfeit $150,000 and pay additional restitution.

Blicht's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.