Corrections Officers Fight Corruption in the PSCOA

Taylor v. PSCOA | Yedlosky v. PSCOA

CASE SUMMARY

The Fairness Center has represented corrections officers in multiple cases against the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) seeking to bring financial accountability and transparency to the union; to defend corrections officers’ First Amendment rights, and to enforce the union’s duty to fairly represent both members and nonmembers.


Corrections Officers Expose Financial Corruption


In Huntingdon, Pennsylvania corrections officers Chris Taylor and Cory Yedlosky suspected that union officials at PSCOA were mishandling union funds. Their own audit of the union’s finances confirmed their suspicions: local officials had mishandled thousands of dollars of union members’ dues.

Concerned, Cory, Chris, and a colleague brought their findings to Jason Bloom, then- president of the statewide PSCOA union, but he “blew off” the audit and “put [it] in a drawer to collect dust.” Cory and Chris resigned from the PSCOA in disgust, but they refused to give up on their goal of holding their union accountable.

Their persistence would eventually reveal that union officials had spent members’ money on NFL tickets, a $12,000 Rolex watch, and outings at PGA Tour-level golf courses.


Lawsuit Forces Accountability in the PSCOA


In 2020, the Fairness Center filed the
complaint in the lawsuit, Yedlosky v. PSCOA, on the officers’ behalf to force union officials to address the officers’ concerns. A month later, state police arrested local union treasurer Bryan Peroni on felony theft and forgery charges for writing checks to himself amounting to nearly $30,000. Peroni pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced.

After our client’s lawsuit, PSCOA officials tightened oversight of their finances, revealing even bigger problems and even more mishandled funds. In July 2023, state police charged former PSCOA President Jason Bloom with six felony counts of theft for using the union’s credit card for personal expenses. Bloom wasn’t the only one; four other former PSCOA officers, including former presidents Roy Pinto and Larry Blackwell, were also charged with theft. And court documents revealed claims that officials had used union credit cards for more than $200,000 in personal expenses.

Including the arrest of former PSCOA Local SCI—Huntingdon treasurer Bryan Peroni back in 2019, mere weeks after our clients’ lawsuit was filed, this marks six PSCOA officials being held accountable for theft.


Union Threatens to Violate its Duty


While working to expose the PSCOA’s financial practices, Chris had to file a lawsuit to force union officials to recognize his membership resignation. Though Pennsylvania law says public-sector unions have a legal duty to fairly represent all members of a bargaining unit—both members and nonmembers—PSCOA
officials retaliated by saying they would charge Chris fees for representation. Chris filed another lawsuit, Taylor v. PSCOA, about the union’s duty of fair representation.


Litigation Continues to Defend Corrections Officers’ Rights


Yedlosky v. PSCOA
is currently on appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Our clients are seeking a refund of their dues and a judgment that the union breached its contract and violated its fiduciary duty.

Chris’s and Cory’s litigation has made enormous progress towards their goal of bringing transparency and accountability to the PSCOA. Since our clients’ lawsuit, the union has instituted trainings for local treasurers, reduced union membership dues, and tightened credit card oversight.

“When our clients filed this lawsuit, they suspected that their local union was playing fast and loose with members’ money, but what they uncovered was far worse. Officials at their local and state unions have been charged with theft, while it appears that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been mishandled. Our clients believe corrections officers deserve transparency and accountability from their union and will continue to press their case in court.” – Nathan McGrath, president and general counsel for the Fairness Center.

Yedlosky v. PSCOA is now before the Commonwealth Court.


Documents

CASE SUMMARY

The Fairness Center has represented corrections officers in multiple cases against the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association (PSCOA) seeking to bring financial accountability and transparency to the union; to defend corrections officers’ First Amendment rights, and to enforce the union’s duty to fairly represent both members and nonmembers.


Corrections Officers Expose Financial Corruption


In Huntingdon, Pennsylvania corrections officers Chris Taylor and Cory Yedlosky suspected that union officials at PSCOA were mishandling union funds. Their own audit of the union’s finances confirmed their suspicions: local officials had mishandled thousands of dollars of union members’ dues.

Concerned, Cory, Chris, and a colleague brought their findings to Jason Bloom, then- president of the statewide PSCOA union, but he “blew off” the audit and “put [it] in a drawer to collect dust.” Cory and Chris resigned from the PSCOA in disgust, but they refused to give up on their goal of holding their union accountable.

Their persistence would eventually reveal that union officials had spent members’ money on NFL tickets, a $12,000 Rolex watch, and outings at PGA Tour-level golf courses.


Lawsuit Forces Accountability in the PSCOA


In 2020, the Fairness Center filed the
complaint in the lawsuit, Yedlosky v. PSCOA, on the officers’ behalf to force union officials to address the officers’ concerns. A month later, state police arrested local union treasurer Bryan Peroni on felony theft and forgery charges for writing checks to himself amounting to nearly $30,000. Peroni pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced.

After our client’s lawsuit, PSCOA officials tightened oversight of their finances, revealing even bigger problems and even more mishandled funds. In July 2023, state police charged former PSCOA President Jason Bloom with six felony counts of theft for using the union’s credit card for personal expenses. Bloom wasn’t the only one; four other former officers, including former presidents Roy Pinto and Larry Blackwell, were also charged with theft. And court documents revealed claims that officials had used union credit cards for more than $200,000 in personal expenses.

Including the arrest of former PSCOA Local SCI – Huntingdon treasurer Bryan Peroni back in 2019, mere weeks after our client’s lawsuit was filed, this marks six PSCOA officials being held accountable for theft.


Union Threatens to Violate its Duty


While working to expose the PSCOA’s financial practices, Chris had to file a lawsuit to force union officials to recognize his membership resignation. Though Pennsylvania law says public-sector unions have a legal duty to fairly represent all members of a bargaining unit—both members and nonmembers—PSCOA
officials retaliated by saying they would charge Chris fees for representation. Chris filed another lawsuit, Taylor v. PSCOA, about the union’s duty of fair representation.


Litigation Continues to Defend Corrections Officers’ Rights


Yedlosky v. PSCOA
is currently on appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Our clients are seeking a refund of their dues and a judgment that the union breached its contract and violated its fiduciary duty.

Chris’s and Cory’s litigation has made enormous progress towards their goal of bringing transparency and accountability to the PSCOA. Since our clients’ lawsuit, the union has instituted trainings for local treasurers, reduced union membership dues, and tightened credit card oversight.

“When our clients filed this lawsuit, they suspected that their local union was playing fast and loose with members’ money, but what they uncovered was far worse. Officials at their local and state unions have been charged with theft, while it appears that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been mishandled. Our clients believe corrections officers deserve transparency and accountability from their union and will continue to press their case in court.” – Nathan McGrath, president and general counsel for the Fairness Center.

Yedlosky v. PSCOA is now before the Commonwealth Court.


Documents

MEDIA

Former leaders of PA state corrections officers assoc. accused of credit card theft

CBS21

Former Pa. Corrections Officers’ Union
Leaders Charged with Theft

PennLive Patriot News

August 14, 2023: “Five former leaders of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association are facing multiple theft charges, accused of improperly using a union credit card.”

August 10, 2023: “Five former leaders of Pennsylvania’s corrections officers’ union have been charged with theft after police say they stole union funds by using credit cards for personal expenses and conspiring to conceal their actions.”

Former Pa. corrections officers’ union leaders charged with theft

TribLive

Theft charges for 5 ex-leaders of Pa. prison
guard union over credit card use

AP News

August 10, 2023: “Investigators said the five former union leaders used union credit cards – issued to them for official business purposes only – to make personal expenditures, submitted intentionally vague expense reports, and attempted to block other union leaders and members from inquiring further.”

August 11, 2023: “Five former leaders of the Pennsylvania corrections officers’ union have been charged with theft after investigators say they used union funds to pay for personal expenses and hid the transactions.”

SCI Employee Charged
With Theft

The Daily News

Pa. Corrections Officers Sue Union Over
Allegations of Theft by Officials

Center Square

February 27, 2020: “Peroni’s charges come on the heels of a civil lawsuit that was filed in late January by The Fairness Center on behalf of three SCI Huntingdon corrections officers, Cory Yedlosky, William Weyandt and Chris Taylor, who asserted the state corrections officers union “breached their duty of fair representation” to them and their colleagues by failing to enforce the union’s rules regarding the handling of union funds.

January 29, 2020: “Three Pennsylvania corrections officers are suing their union over allegations that tens of thousands of dollars in union funds were misspent by officials…The three workers – Cory Yedlosky, William Weyandt and Chris Taylor – allege in the lawsuit that the former treasurer of the State Correctional Institution-Huntingdon Local of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association wrote himself and the local’s secretary checks amounting to about $20,000 that were not approved expenses.”

Former leaders of PA state corrections officers assoc. accused of theft using credit cards

CBS21

August 14, 2023: “Five former leaders of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association are facing multiple theft charges, accused of improperly using a union credit card.”

Former Pa. Corrections Officers’ Union Leaders
Charged with Theft

PennLive Patriot News

August 10, 2023: “Five former leaders of Pennsylvania’s corrections officers’ union have been charged with theft after police say they stole union funds by using credit cards for personal expenses and conspiring to conceal their actions.”

Former Pa. corrections officers’ union leaders charged with theft

TribLive

August 10, 2023: “Investigators said the five former union leaders used union credit cards – issued to them for official business purposes only – to make personal expenditures, submitted intentionally vague expense reports, and attempted to block other union leaders and members from inquiring further.”

Theft charges for 5 ex-leaders of Pennsylvania prison guard union over credit card use

AP News

August 11, 2023: “Five former leaders of the Pennsylvania corrections officers’ union have been charged with theft after investigators say they used union funds to pay for personal expenses and hid the transactions.”

SCI Employee Charged
With Theft

The Daily News

February 27, 2020: “Peroni’s charges come on the heels of a civil lawsuit that was filed in late January by The Fairness Center on behalf of three SCI Huntingdon corrections officers, Cory Yedlosky, William Weyandt and Chris Taylor, who asserted the state corrections officers union “breached their duty of fair representation” to them and their colleagues by failing to enforce the union’s rules regarding the handling of union funds.

Pennsylvania Corrections Officers Sue Union Over Allegations of Theft by Officials

Center Square

January 29, 2020: “Three Pennsylvania corrections officers are suing their union over allegations that tens of thousands of dollars in union funds were misspent by officials…The three workers – Cory Yedlosky, William Weyandt and Chris Taylor – allege in the lawsuit that the former treasurer of the State Correctional Institution-Huntingdon Local of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association wrote himself and the local’s secretary checks amounting to about $20,000 that were not approved expenses.”

See more cases like Chris & Cory’s
“I cannot say enough about how pleased I am to have the Fairness Center in my corner as my case advances, especially in this day and age of unions becoming more involved in political issues instead of unconditionally representing those for whom they were created.”
– John Grande

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