LOS ANGELES The executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union has stepped aside while under investigation for allegations she paid thousands of dollars in union funds to a former boyfriend, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
Annelle Grajeda is the third major SEIU official to be placed on leave in recent months amid allegations of financial misspending. Grajeda was also president of the SEIU's state council for California and president of the Los Angeles local representing 77,000 county workers.
She is on leave from all three positions, the SEIU said.
Grajeda was "very confident" she would be exonerated, she told the Times on Saturday.
The SEIU said that it has demanded that her ex-boyfriend, former Los Angeles chapter president Alejandro Stephens, return money he received from the local and the state council.
He was paid nearly $89,000 in consulting fees and "disbursements for official business" by those entities last year, according to the union's financial filings with the U.S. Labor Department.
Two other SEIU leaders have been placed on leave recently amid allegations that the group's largest local, United-Long-Term Care Workers, misspent $1 million of members' dues.
The local, which represents thousands of health care employees, is the subject of federal inquiries into payments that made to companies owned by relatives of local President Tyrone Freeman. Freeman and his former chief of staff, Rickman Jackson, who now heads the ULTCW's Detroit local, are both on leave.