Aviation

Machinists Union says it has met with FBI

District 70 Machinists comprise a number of local lodges in and around Wichita, including ones that represent about 6,000 Machinists at Spirit AeroSystems as well as at Textron Aviation and Bombardier Learjet.
District 70 Machinists comprise a number of local lodges in and around Wichita, including ones that represent about 6,000 Machinists at Spirit AeroSystems as well as at Textron Aviation and Bombardier Learjet. File photo

The International Association of Machinists says it has met with officials from the FBI and federal Department of Labor regarding its District 70 headquarters in Wichita.

In a notice posted on Local Lodge 839’s website, the IAM said it “continues to meet with representatives of two agencies of the U.S. government at the DL70 office, these include the Department of Labor and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The March 30 notice comes nearly two months after the union took over the daily operations of District 70 over concerns about how the office was being run. District 70, at 3830 S. Meridian, represents 8,000 Machinists in the Wichita area, including those working at Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation and Bombardier Learjet.

“The IAM’s initial audit of District 70 finances was triggered by allegations of serious financial mismanagement,” the union said in the notice.

“The IAMAW trusteeship will include full cooperation with any parallel or subsequent investigation by these agencies and it is our intent to provide any assistance or information they may require.”

Since IAM President Robert Martinez Jr. placed District 70 into trusteeship, former District 70 President Frank Molina Jr. and former business representative Becky Ledbetter have filed lawsuits against the district, the IAM and several of its officers for wrongful termination, breach of contract and defamation.

A spokesman said IAM continues to conduct the daily operations of District 70 and would not comment on any actions by outside agencies.

“The trusteeship remains in effect and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the subject or progress of any other investigations being conducted,” Machinists spokesman Frank Larkin said Monday.

The FBI would not confirm it is investigating District 70.

“We would never confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” said FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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