* Mitchell Armentrout at the Sun-Times…
Chicago-area labor leader William E. Dugan, an Illinois political heavyweight who doubled the size of one of the state’s most influential unions over a two-decade tenure, died Saturday at age 86.
About 10,000 workers were represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 when “Wild Bill” Dugan took the helm of the Countryside-based organization in 1986, according to the union’s general counsel, Dale Pierson.
By the time he stepped down in controversy in 2008 — after weathering several economic recessions amid a downward national trend in union membership — Local 150 boasted more than 23,000 members across numerous construction industries.
“Bill helped lead us through so many ups and downs in the financial markets amid labor law erosion. That growth was incredible,” said Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “He built one of the most sophisticated teams of union organizers we’d ever seen. He was fierce, caring and he had everyone’s back.”
The man was a legend and had an enormous impact on Illinois politics. But there was this..
Dugan retired from Local 150 in 2008, after the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed that authorities were investigating whether he illegally used union resources for personal gain. Federal agents raided Dugan’s Maryland buffalo farm, and he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating federal labor law by demanding and accepting custom-made livestock feeders from a company that employed the union local’s workers.
* Local 150…
Memorial services will be conducted on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the Local 150 Union Hall in Countryside, Illinois, 6200 Joliet Road. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.; visitation will be held through 4:30 p.m. Memorial service will take place from 4:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.; visitation to resume until 10:00 p.m.