DETROIT — A Florida man who was a top official at a Michigan labor union has been sentenced to two years in prison for bullying union employees to pay $5,000 in kickbacks.
Federal prosecutors say John Hamilton was an “old school union boss” who enriched himself through extortion. He was business manager at Operating Engineers Local 324, which has more than 10,000 members in Michigan.
The government says the money that Hamilton collected from his own employees was supposed to help promote his management team in union elections. But investigators found that he used a significant portion for his own benefit, including $5,000 as a wedding gift for his daughter.
After losing election in 2012, Hamilton kept $71,000 and gave $35,000 each to two allies. He lives in Ocala, Florida.