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Under Hilda Solis, money recovered from union fraud probes fell by half

Following up on my post from last week about Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’s rollback of regulations meant to root out union fraud and embezzlement, I was able to get an updated set of figures showing the impact of that rollback for my column today:

Solis rolled back transparency regulations put in place by the Bush administration to uncover fraud and embezzlement by union officials. The Federal Register announcement actually said the rollback was “to avoid overburdening unions and their officials with unnecessary reporting requirements.” The Labor Department investigations in this area during the Bush administration recovered $93 million of stolen dues on behalf of individual union members. The department reported to me this week that under Solis, the conviction rate has remained fairly steady but recoveries had come to only $17.6 million through 2011 (the last year for which data were available). In other words, the average recovery of these dues is now half what it was under Bush.

Read the whole column here, which details the various ways Solis used her cabinet office to reward her union friends.