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Labor leader resigns amid election dispute

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.

The president of one of the largest labor groups in the region resigned this week, citing personal reasons for leaving at a time when a recent union election remains in dispute.

Sharon-Frances Moore of Service Employees International Union Local 221 left the labor group Monday, a spokeswoman said. She joined the organization in March 2007.

The union will be jointly managed by the vice president, treasurer and acting secretary as the executive committee searches for a successor over the next several months.

"We negotiated a financial agreement with her, and she will serve as a consultant during this period to make sure our members don't experience any disruption in services," communications director Melinda Battenberg said.

The resignation comes amid an ongoing review of the union's election last summer by the U.S. Department of Labor. A group of members complained that the vote wasn't conducted fairly.

Moore's resignation was formally accepted after a meeting of the SEIU Local 221 executive committee Tuesday night.

Battenberg declined to say how much money was involved in the severance package.

"Members are questioning if the severance package deal is 'hush money' and asking if the union's officials are trying to avoid another major press scandal over allegations of misuse of union funds," union activist Monty Kroopkin said in prepared remarks.

Kroopkin was referring to a separate investigation into spending practices of leaders of the international union, which represents about 10,000 employees across San Diego and Imperial counties.

The union was largely responsible for qualifying a measure for the June ballot that would impose term limits on the county Board of Supervisors.

Moore earned $136,120 in 2008, according to the union's most recent federal tax filing. Before arriving in San Diego, she managed a nonprofit organization that steered government aid and private donations to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Jeff McDonald: (619) 293-1708;

Posted by SEIU SMART at 3:32 PM, March 20, 2010


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