Steven Thomas, the former business manager of Laborers Union Local 500, was given five years probation by a federal judge in Toledo, OH following his conviction last May "to one count of labor union embezzlement for using union money throughout 2004 to pay for visits to strip clubs, where he spent nearly $18,000" as reported by Erica Blake for The Toledo Blade:
Questionable spending by Local 500 officials first came to light in 2006 when The Blade reported a series of stories that detailed the salaries of top union leaders and their spending at area strip clubs. The federal charges against Thomas and a fellow former union officer, Thomas Leonard, followed a lengthy U.S. Department of Labor investigation. In 2006, the parent organization of Local 500, Laborers International Union of North America, filed disciplinary charges against the men and removed them from office. Criminal indictments were filed against both men July 23, 2008. * * * Thomas is the second union official to be sentenced for union embezzlement. Mr. Leonard, the union's former recording secretary, was sentenced in January to one year of probation after pleading guilty Oct. 2 to using a credit card given to him by the construction union to pay $4,386 in expenses at the two strip clubs.