Globe union president is found guilty

By Beth Healy
Globe Staff / December 3, 2009

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Daniel Totten, president of The Boston Globe’s largest union, was found guilty yesterday by a jury of five union members of the most serious charges levied against him and was ordered expelled from the Boston Newspaper Guild, according to Guild officials.

The charges included signing a check in violation of union bylaws, after Totten signed the name of another union official to his own paycheck.

Totten also was found guilty of improperly using the union credit card for personal expenses and failing to produce receipts in a timely fashion.

Totten did not appear at the hearings over two days.

The jury deliberated for nearly four hours before arriving at the verdict, said its chairwoman, Globe reporter Maria Cramer. Totten could have been fined, suspended, or expelled from the union. In addition to being expelled, Totten was fined $254 to cover expenses he owes the union. Totten was found not guilty of bringing unfavorable public notice on the union.

In a statement to union members yesterday, Totten said he is contesting the trial process and the decision. He has already launched an appeal.

“Democratic process has been a travesty in this matter,’’ he said.

Scott Steeves has been acting Guild president since Totten went on medical leave in September. The Guild represents more than 600 editorial, advertising, and business office workers.

Totten, who was elected president in 2005, had come under criticism from some Guild members for his handling of negotiations this year with the Globe’s owner, The New York Times Co., over $20 million in concessions.

The Times Co. had threatened to shut down the Globe if it did not get the concessions. The Guild rejected the initial offer, returned to the bargaining table, and ultimately approved a similar package of pay and benefit cuts.