To allow a union officer to use the power and wealth of the very union which he is accused of pilfering, to defend himself against such charges, is totally inconsistent with Congress' effort to eliminate the undersirable element which has been uncovered in the labor-management field. To allow even a majority of members in that union to authorize such action, when, if the charges made against these defendants are true, it is these very members whom the officers have deceived, would be equally inconsistent with the Act. If some of those members have not been deceived by the defendants, but because of the immediate gains in their income and working conditions which Local 107 has won for them, they are content to accept as officers anyone who produces immediate results, regardless of what other wrongs those officers may commit in so doing, this Court would still not feel constrained to bow to their will in the light of its duty both to those members of Local 107 who place honesty above material gain as well as to the millions of others in the labor movement whose cause would be seriously injured by such an attitude.'
Consequently, all payments made on behalf of defendants in the first four matters in question must be repaid to the union.
Defendants urge that this court should allocate a portion of the money in question to the special grand jury activities of their attorneys. The theory is that since the union benefited the union has a right to pay for the benefit received. Conceding the benefit, it is not difficult to dispose of this contention. The same reasons which invalidate the other payments invalidate this one. The Act seeks to prevent exploitation of the union by union officers and by an unscrupulous majority. How can the salutary effect of the Act be attained by this court if payment of defendants' legal costs are paid in any case where officers are charged with acts inimical to the union? The union could secure its own legal representation and pay therefor from the union treasury. If defendants and an unprincipled majority of the union members are allowed to mix a defense of the union with a defense of those charged with looting the union, assuming the charges are true, the Act would be emasculated. Any statements seeming to support defendants' position which appear in the preliminary injunction opinion are actually directed to the ultra vires issue and to the construction of Pennsylvania law.
One problem remains. Defendants claim that any fees allocable to the criminal proceedings pending in Philadelphia are properly payable to defendants if they are exonerated, and that an order to repay now is premature. This position presupposes that a determination of exoneration is not only possible but that it is likely to occur, if at all, in the near future. We do not decide whether defendants may or can be exonerated, or whether exoneration authorizes the union to indemnify them. There is no reason to decide this now. The record shows nothing like exoneration to date. Defendants have been paid money, or received benefits, which they must return to the union. The money was improperly paid in the first instance, as above decided. Since the facts have not changed, there is no reason to delay repayment. Defendants should not be allowed to use union funds to assist them in their defense.
Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment in the sum of $ 24,921.41. The above discussion of the facts and of the law constitutes findings of facts and conclusions of law of this court.
And Now, this fifth day of April, 1963, in accordance with the foregoing opinion and the findings of fact and conclusions of law therein contained, It Is Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed that judgment be, and the same is, hereby entered for the plaintiffs herein and against the defendants in the sum of $ 24,921.41.
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