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Hughes Put On Probation, Fined $10,000

November 14, 1987

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Labor leader Martin Hughes, convicted of falsifying union expense vouchers to make political contributions, was fined $10,000 Friday and placed on probation for two years.

Under federal law, the conviction prohibits Hughes from participating in union activities for 13 years. But U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich reduced that to three years.

Hughes, 65, vice president of the Communications Workers of America, proclaimed his innocence before sentencing. He said he never profited personally and that the system of putting campaign contributions on union expense vouchers had been used by the CWA for more than 40 years.

Hughes also is director of CWA’s District 4, which covers Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

A federal jury in July convicted Hughes on 10 misdemeanor counts of falsifying union records, two felony counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax documents and two felony counts of making false statements to the U.S. government.

Aldrich on Friday dropped two of the misdemeanor charges and reduced one of the felonies to a misdemeanor.

Hughes took a leave of absence from his position as head of the Cleveland AFL-CIO Federation of Labor after his indictment in May 1986. He was indicted on 37 counts, including felony charges of embezzlement. Aldrich dismissed 23 charges during trial.

Hughes was accused of listing candidates’ names on union expense vouchers and turning the money over to the candidates as political contributions. The vouchers were for meals and mileage for union organizational activities.

The candidates, including Timothy F. Hagan, president of the Cuyahoga County Commissioners, Sheriff Gerald T. McFaul and Recorder Frank Russo, were not accused of wrongdoing.

Hughes could have received a maximum sentence of 26 years in prison and fined $225,000. He is active in Democratic politics and is a member of the state Democratic Party’s executive committee.

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