SEIU leader resigns amid theft, perjury charges

A group of SEIU members and supporters at a rally in Los Angeles. (Photo: RoidRanger, via Shutterstock)

Alma Hernández, the executive director of the 700,000-member SEIU California labor union, resigned Wednesday after she and her husband were accused of multiple charges that  included perjury, fraud and grand theft.

SEIU California is the biggest labor union in the state and Hernandez, a major player in state politics, has served as the top executive there for five years. Recently, she headed a major organized labor effort against the recent recall attempt against Gov. Newsom.

“We have accepted Ms. Hernández’s resignation, and we have cooperated fully with authorities on this matter and will continue to do so,” the SEIU State Council said in a written statement. The Council said it had named Tia Orr, a 16-year veteran of the union, as an interim executive director.

Hernández and her husband, Jose Moscoso, were charged Oct. 4 in Sacramento Superior Court. [UPDATE: They were taken into custody Friday, Oct. 15, and booked into the Sacramento County jail. Their next court hearing is Nov. 9.]

The allegations were first reported by the Sacramento Bee.

Hernández was charged with two counts of grand theft and a count of perjury, for directing $11,700 from a state Senate campaign, in which she served as financial director,  to Moscoso, who was supposed to provide food and drink for 80 canvassers, but did not do so, according to the complaint.

Moscoso was charged with failing to pay more than $16,000 in employment taxes for his business. He also had over $300,000 in unreported wages for his employees, ultimately owing more than $80,000 to the state’s Employment Development Department, according to the complaint.

The couple was also charged with multiple counts of tax fraud for underreporting their income by about $1.4 million from 2014 to 2018

The Bee said authorities’ attention on Hernandez stemmed from information developed the state’s political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, regarding the alleged campaign violation in the Senate race.

That, in turn, led state investigators from the attorney general’s office to probe the issue.

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