The California branch of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest employee union in state government and the purple-and-yellow shock troops of the Democratic Party, has ousted its president.
The board’s 65 members took a vote Saturday and chose to remove Richard Louis Brown, who had already been suspended.
The Fresno Bee had earlier described the allegations against him in an investigator’s report:
Brown could face immediate removal from his roles as union president and steward after the investigation found sufficient evidence to support 12 alleged acts of misconduct. The investigator also recommended that Brown be reprimanded for his actions and barred from running for office until 2025.
La Rue’s investigation found sufficient evidence that Brown failed to properly conduct board meetings, undermined the authority of the union’s executive committee, improperly suspended three of Local 1000’s vice presidents, threatened to discipline staff for communicating with the “suspended” vice presidents, illegally seized and occupied the Local 1000 headquarters, stole union records, and improperly approved 12 holidays for Local 1000 staff without board approval or collective bargaining.
Evidence also supported [local labor leader Michael] Guss’s allegations that Brown bullied and intimidated board members when he invited them to his house to “engage in an altercation” and threatened to check their credit scores after they voted down his proposed 2022 budget. La Rue also found that Brown targeted Guss, who is Jewish, for his religious beliefs.
Brown briefly attracted attention from conservatives when he joined opposition to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) vaccine mandates in 2021, arguing that the state government had not obeyed a collective bargaining agreement.
In a statement, the SEIU noted: “Under the Union’s policy, the position of president will remain vacant through the end of the current term.” The next election for a union president is to be held in 2024.