The FBI and U.S. Labor Department are looking into two deals involving Andy Stern — over a six-figure book contract given to the former head of the Service Employees International Union and payments to a labor leader convicted on separate fraud charges, a source familiar with the case told Fox News on Tuesday.
Questioning of Stern, who is a member of President Obama’s debt commission, revolve around whether he paid Stephens $150,000 to do nothing as the local union boss. Stephens and Stern met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about the relationship.
An SEIU spokesman told Fox News that no labor official has been contacted in any way nor has received any inquiry of any kind from federal law enforcement officials regarding any investigation of Stern, who had signed off on Stephens’ contract.
But the spokesman noted that when several unions merged to form SEIU local 660 in 2007, Stephens was dropped as president. He was offered a $75,000 per year consulting job.
SEIU demanded that Stephens return all the money he had gotten up front from his contract, which has been in arbitration since August 2008. The spokesman said SEIU has cooperated with federal investigators in the probe of Stephens.
Stephens’ attorney, Roger Rosen, told The Associated Press that his client has not cooperated with federal officials and has no plans to do so in the future.
Dan Riehl, over at Riehl World View, wrapped things up nicely:
Interesting, Andy Stern runs through the rise of Obama and his administration like a strand of DNA. He was there at the beginning of the Netroots movement, even hiring Moulitsas and Armstrong to a lucrative consulting contract at the same time they wrote the labor-friendly, Crashing the Gate that helped kick things off. Stern has topped the White House visitor’s list and joined Obama’s Deficit Commission, despite leaving the SEIU heavily in debt.