BATH (AP) – A Machinists union panel will meet Wednesday in a closed-door session to discuss misconduct allegations against three officers who were suspended last year after a trustee took control of Bath Iron Works’ largest union.

A committee appointed by the international union concluded last summer that enough evidence existed to support charges of shoddy accounting, widespread viewing of pornography on union computers and failure to deal with grievances in a timely manner.

A new three-member panel will consider whether to drop the charges against the suspended officers, including President Mike Keenan, or whether to conduct a full investigation, union spokesman John Carr said. The session is expected to last two days.

Keenan said Tuesday he didn’t expect to be treated fairly by the panel appointed by International President Thomas Buffenbarger.

He and three other Local S6 leaders have sued the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, accusing it of carrying out a vendetta. Their removal came 10 days after they were elected, despite a campaign against them by the union, they contend.

Carr said the union is following a process set forth by its nearly 700,000 retired and active members.

“The members of this union are the one who establish the process and we’re following that prescribed process,” Carr said from the union’s regional office in Cincinnati.

Local S6, which represents about 3,200 shipbuilders at the Navy contractor, was thrown into turmoil on March 17, 2008, when a trustee took over the union. Keenan and nine other officers were suspended, but most of them eventually were allowed to return to their posts.

Along with Keenan, Vice President Troy Osgood and recording secretary Cathy London remain suspended. A fourth officer, former Chief Steward Michael Cyr, remains a plaintiff in the lawsuit but he’s no longer subject to union action because he took a management job with Bath Iron Works.

Keenan said he’s looking forward to his day in court.

“The system needs to be revamped. I truly believe that when all of this is said and done, I’m the one to revamp this system,” Keenan said.


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