1797 Edwards v. International Executive Board

Case No: 1797


The International President and IEB properly determined that the Local Union’s $13,564.80 disbursement to Edwards for mileage from her home to the union hall to perform her duties as Recording Secretary from June 2008 through June 2014 was a misappropriation of union funds.  The Local’s bylaws permit officers to receive mileage reimbursement on an “as needed basis” for travel related to union business.  We agree that this provision properly construed does not allow for the payment of mileage for regular commuting expenses.  Edwards emphasizes, and the International Union acknowledges, that the Local reimbursed some officers for regular commuting expenses in the past.  This fact alone, however, does not prevent the International from correcting the error once discovered.

In rejecting Edwards’s arguments, we do not question that she relied in good faith upon the Local’s past practice and her understanding of informal advice received from members of the International’s auditing staff.  We also recognize, as did the International Union, that she has long rendered service to her Local and Region.  As the PRB has indicated in several past decisions, however, responsibility for the misappropriation of union funds does not depend upon a showing of bad faith or willful misconduct.