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MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual’s union says contrary to a press report in a Wisconsin paper it is not pushing for former CUNA Mutual CEO Mike Kitchen to be hit with criminal charges. Kitchen was forced to resign a few weeks ago after a board investigation into his offer of $1,000 to a group of employees exploring options to create a separate bargaining unit within OPEIU Local 39. An article in the Wisconsin-based The Capital Times said that the union wanted Kitchen to face criminal charges, and had been in contact with the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Wisconsin. However the union issued a statement saying the union did inquire with the U.S. Attorney’s Office about “the procedures in these cases” but that it is not seeking to have Kitchen charged. The union did note however that Kitchen’s alleged offense is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (which carries no criminal charges), and a violation of Section 302 of the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, which could lead to criminal charges. According to Section 302, if an employer offers money to union employees for labor relation matters in the amount of $1,000 or less they could be charged with a misdemeanor, while anything over $1,000 is a felony.

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