A federal judge has sentenced Jeffrey Veach, former president of an ironworkers' union local in Indiana, to 42 months in federal prison for his role in organizing a 2016 assault by members of his local—using fists and pieces of hardwood—on non-union ironworkers at a school project, the U.S. Dept. of Justice says.
The attack, which left multiple workers with serious injuries, was part of an effort to obtain a contract for Local 395 to help construct the Plum Creek Christian Academy, a school affiliated with the Dyer Baptist Church in Dyer, Ind.
Veach, 57, had been president of Iron Workers Local 395 in Portage, Ind. In January, he pleaded guilty to one count of extortion conspiracy, along with co-defendant Thomas Williamson Sr., 69, a business agent for the local.
Williamson had previously accompanied Veach to the school jobsite and asked the contractor to join the union. When they were rebuffed, they returned with rank-and-file members for the attack.
Judge Theresa Springmann of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana handed down the sentence on Sept. 23, which includes banning Veach from any union leadership position for at least 13 years after the end of his sentence. Williamson is scheduled to be sentenced separately by Springmann on Dec. 15.
Veach resigned as president of Local 395, following his guilty plea in January.
Under federal law, he will also be barred from any role in handling pension funds for at least 13 years after the end of his sentence.
He will not forfeit his personal union pension benefit unless he does not make restitution, which is another provision of his sentence, according to a Dept. of Justice spokeswoman.