Ex-Union Official Pleads Guilty


Joseph Craig Rider admits embezzling more than $15,000


RANDOLPH HEASTER; The Kansas City Star

May 24, 2001


A former construction union official has pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement.


Joseph Craig Rider, 39, entered his plea Monday in federal district court in Kansas City, Kan. Rider, the former business manager and secretary-treasurer of Laborers' Local 1290, admitted to using a credit card to spend more than $15,000 in union funds for the personal benefit of himself and others. Rider also admitted to not reimbursing the union local for the charges.


According to an indictment from last November, Rider used the credit card for airline tickets, restaurant bills, NASCAR tickets, Las Vegas shows and vehicle rentals. The embezzlements occurred over four years beginning in November 1995, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City, Kan.


Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6. The maximum sentence for the crime is five years in prison without parole.


Rider was removed from his union post in 1999 after an internal investigation by the Laborers' International Union of North America. He previously was president of the Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers' District Council.


Rider was the third generation in his family to head Local 1290, a 2,000-member construction local.


The U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards was involved in the investigation.

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