Boston Newspaper Guild President Ousted

By: Joe Strupp

The Boston Newspaper Guild has expelled president Daniel Totten after a jury of five union members found him guilty of the most serious charges levied against him, the Boston Globe reported.

The guild, which represents about 600 editorial and other workers at the newspaper, revealed Totten was found guilty of signing a check in violation of union bylaws, after he signed the name of another union official to his paycheck. Totten also was found to have improperly used a union credit card for personal expenses and failed to produce receipts in a timely fashion.

Totten did not appear at the hearings over two days.

The jury deliberated for nearly four hours Wednesday, the Globe reported, adding Totten could have been fined, suspended, or expelled. In addition to being expelled, Totten was fined $254 to cover union expenses.

He was found not guilty of bringing unfavorable public notice on the union. In a statement to union members, Totten said he was contesting the trial process and the decision and has already launched an appeal. ”Democratic process has been a travesty in this matter,” he said according to the Globe.

Totten was elected in 2005 and had come under criticism from some Guild members during this past year’s contract negotiation battle that ended with unions at the paper giving up some $20 million in concessions to management.

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