The former president of Operating Engineers Local 150 has pleaded guilty, in
an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of
Illinois, to a misdemeanor charge of violating federal labor law.
William E. Dugan, 76, of Hancock, Md., has pleaded guilty to demanding and
accepting, in 2005, a pair of concrete buffalo feeders—valued in excess of
$900—from “Company A,” which employs members of Local 150.
Dugan, formerly of Mt. Prospect, Ill., operates a buffalo farm in Maryland.
He is the retired president and business manager of Local 150, which
represents around 23,000 heavy equipment operators, some 4,100 of them in
It is expected that Dugan could receive a prison sentence, under federal
guidelines, of 10 to 16 months in addition to any supervised release, fine,
and restitution which may be ordered by the court, according to the plea
As stipulated by that agreement, Dugan ordered a Local 150 employee, in
April 2005, to contact the vice-president of Company A in Elgin, Ill., and
instruct the vice-president to have manufactured two “concrete open
pipe-shaped devices” to be used as buffalo feeding troughs. Each weighed
between three and four tons, and on their completion Dugan ordered another
Local 150 employee to transport the feeders to Dugan’s buffalo farm in
Dugan did not pay for the buffalo feeders, the plea agreement states.
Then, in July 2005, Dugan had a second pair manufactured by Company A, again
had a Local 150 employee transport the feeders to the farm, and again did
not pay for them.
Dugan also admitted to the following violations of labor law, although he
was not charged in connection with any of them, the agreement states:
•In October and November 2002, Company B—a firm located in Illinois and
employing Local 150 members, with a facility in Pennsylvania—rented at
Dugan’s direction a front-end loader for use on his farm. It cost Company B
around $7,265, which Dugan did not reimburse.
•In January 2005, Dugan purchased a skid steer—a small four-wheel drive
machine—from Company B for the “below-market price of $2,400.” The true
market price was between $7,000 and $11,000, and although the skid steer was
functional, Company B provided Dugan with a sale receipt which identified
the machine as having “an inoperable engine and damaged lift arms” in order
to “conceal and justify the below-market price.” A Local 150 member was
ordered to transport the skid steer to Dugan’s farm.
•Each autumn in 2003, 2004, and 2005, a farmer who grew corn on property
owned by Local 150 was ordered to supply Dugan with around two 400-bushel
truckloads of feed-grade corn for use on his farm. Total estimated value of
the corn: $4,800. A Local 150 member driving a Local 150 semi-tractor
trailer delivered the corn to Dugan’s farm.
•In the spring of 2003 Dugan had a front-end loader belonging to Local 150
delivered to his farm and then, six weeks later, returned to the union’s
Apprentice Skills Improvement Program (ASIP). The value of Dugan’s use of
the loader: $2,100.
•From 2001 through 2006 Dugan converted to his own use a semi-tractor
trailer belonging to ASIP for the transportation of items to his farm. The
value of that use: no less than $15,000.
•In August 2005 Dugan filed a “materially false” form with the U.S.
Department of Labor indicating that he had received only a $50 Christmas
gift from an accounting firm which did business with Local 150, failing to
disclose his receipt of the concrete buffalo feeders and the corn.
agreement requires Dugan to make a total restitution of $10,800 to Local 150
By entering into
the agreement, Dugan waives his rights both to a trial and to appeal.