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Local AFL-CIO leader suspended for alleged improper credit card use

Dan O'Malley, North Shore Federation of Labor
Nick Castele
Ideastream Public Media
North Shore Federation of Labor executive secretary Dan O'Malley talks with media after the AFL-CIO endorsed Dennis Kucinich for Cleveland mayor in 2021.

Dan O’Malley, the head of northeast Ohio’s largest labor organization, has been suspended for alleged improper purchases made on the organization's credit card.

O’Malley, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, was placed on paid administrative leave last week, according to the organization’s executive board. He faces a hearing before the executive board within the next month.

A source close to the matter — who asked not to be named while a hearing is pending — alleged O’Malley had spent at least several thousand dollars using his company card on bar tabs, hotel stays, and grocery bills. O’Malley denied in a brief interview Wednesday that any of his expenditures were improper. He declined to get into specifics.

All I can say is that it's nothing I'm particularly worried about,” O’Malley said. “And I'm sure that our financial review that we go through every year will show that everything is perfectly above board.”

The anonymous source said the organization’s treasurer flagged the expenditures four or five months ago and that questionable expenditures continued after that.

The local SEIU (Service Employees International Union) chapter reportedly filed the non-criminal charges against O’Malley alleging the improper spending, and the North Shore AFL-CIO's executive board voted almost unanimously to place O’Malley on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and the upcoming hearing on that matter.

Shari Obrenski, chair of the North Shore Federation of Labor board, provided the following statement Wednesday.

"The North Shore AFL-CIO Executive Board voted late last week to place Dan O'Malley on administrative leave pending a hearing to take place on charges brought forward by an affiliate union regarding the council's expense account," she wrote.

"The executive board is following the due process procedures in the constitution and bylaws of the labor council to conduct an investigation and hear from all parties involved with the matter."

The North Shore AFL-CIO Federation represents 146 local labor unions for 85,000 people in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties.

O’Malley had served as president of Lakewood City Council until resigning early last year to take a seat on the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

Conor Morris covers education in Northeast Ohio.