Monday, May 17, 2010

Ex-N.J. carpenters union official convicted of embezzling $85K to fund go-go bar binges

By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger

SOMERVILLE — A former carpenters union official from Somerset County was convicted in federal court in Trenton today of pocketing $85,000 from the organization to host hundreds of lunchtime drinking sprees at go-go bars.

Shawn Clark (right), a former carpenters union official who served on the Raritan Valley Community College board of trustees, at the Clarkson S. Fisher Federal Courthouse earlier this month with his attorney John H. Fahy. Clark is accused of illegally charging $85,000 to the labor organization's credit card, mostly at go-go bars.
After deliberating less than six hours, a jury found Shawn Clark, 45, guilty of embezzlement for using the union’s American Express card during more than 450 visits over seven years to watering holes that included Johnny A's Hitching Post in Paterson and Pure Go Go in Manville. He faces up to five years in prison for each of the 16 counts in the indictment.

“You treated that card as if it were your own – didn’t you?” Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Grady O’Malley asked Clark during a cross examination.

Clark, the ex-business manager for Local 455 of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, spent hours on the stand last week arguing he was conducting union meetings at the clubs. Part of his job, he said, was drumming up union business by entertaining contractors, tradesmen and the occasional politician who felt at ease around pulsing music and dancing women.

“It’s a guys’ type of place,” Clark said.

But prosecutors said Clark, who was fired from the union in 2008, ruled the local with an "iron fist." To help conceal his bar tabs, which occasionally exceeded $1,000, he installed a close friend as treasurer, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Romankow. The prosecutor said Clark traveled to strip clubs miles away from the union’s office in Somerville, buying untold number of beers, shots with Red Bull chasers and tiny bottles of Chardonnay for the women on stage.

“Are strippers part of any business lunch?” Romankow asked the jury.

With roughly 600 members, Local 455 represents workers in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Clark took over in 1996 from his father, George Clark, who ran the local for 25 years.

The defendant’s lawyer, James J. Fahy described Clark as a father and hard-working “suburban-type guy" who coached youth sports graduated from Glassboro State College.

He had been appointed by former governors Jon Corzine and James E. McGreevey to the Raritan Valley Community College board of trustees, but resigned after his arrest last June.


  1. How many of our business agents & union heads are dong the same thing? Getting fat on our money. But these scumbags are the same ones who change the 15 years requrement for medical benefits to 20 years? How the fuck can thes pricks do that without even asking us??? That put alot of guys out of the business & TRAPPED ALOT MORE to stay in with no choice----and then there is no work available to even make up the extra 5 years necessary.
     May they burn in hell.........after they get out of jail.

  2. Fred Stern Local 455May 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Hello Frank Spencer,

    Rick Dalrymple Former President of local 455, Henry Dorsey Former Treasurer of local 455 and myself former secretary of local 455 have completed the task you asked of us. We have completely set up, lied and totally fucked Shawn Clark for life, just like we were told to do.We lied in Federal Court and I can't believe those 12 stupid jurors didn't see through us, that we were the biggest FUCKING RATS alive. But you and I know the real truth. The union we all love so much with strong brotherhood spirts SOLD SHAWN CLARK OUT!!!! But it doesn't matter, we still have our jobs and that's all that counts. We successfully got the DOL off our backs. So what if we had to sell out one of our Brothers. I'm sure Shawn wife and 3 little children are glad the Unions are safe now and that you were such a great boss to him. So you want to talk corruption in the unions, start with YOURSELF! Then take a look at <span>Canto </span>who you quietly retired off so nobody would find out he was on the take or <span>John Balentine</span> who lied in Federal Court and who set Shawn up with drugs in the office and told everyone Shawn had drug issues. That was a good one really sealed the deal. I guess it really didn't matter that 85 drug tests that were taken by Shawn and past everyone, really didn't matter. Shawn really loved the Union and was a great asset but I guess we only want to keep assholes that will shut up and not stand up for there beliefs or for their men. I have a question though, DO YOU THINK WE ALL WILL BURN IN HELL FOR FUCKING HIM OVER LIKE THIS!!!!!!!

  3. John P. AttanasioJune 15, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    who ever this Fred Stearn imposter is should be prosecuted. Fred spells his last name "Stearn".If the writer doesn't have the balls to sign his own name I hope he doesn't belong to the Union. What kind of man is the he?

  4. Fres Stearn is a complete scumbag in every aspect of life. I know him quite well and he was very much involved with stealing the money. he admitted it to me many times. he is hated by many in his personal life due to shady business deals, lying to friends for a profit, selling of stolen merchandise etc. the Fred Stearn imposter is correct. who cares how he spells his name. he is a pc of shit with a bullseye painted on his back. I cannot believe the Union that i once loved so much dosent see he is a thief


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