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LAMB v. MILLER

April 11, 1980

Floyd H. LAMB et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Arnold MILLER et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

MEMORANDUM OPINION

The plaintiff Floyd H. Lamb is a member of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and at one time served as a District 6 representative to and member of the International Executive Board (IEB). While serving as a representative he was charged with insubordination in that he failed and refused to account for expenditure of union funds as required by the UMWA Constitution and law. Because of his refusal he was first suspended as District 6 representative by the Union's president Arnold Miller. The suspension was sustained by the IEB. President Miller then removed Lamb from office because of his continued failure to submit the required accounting. Miller's removal action was sustained by the IEB. Later Lamb submitted certain documents, purporting to comply with the request for an accounting. He was advised that the submissions were unacceptable, since they were incomplete and did not comply with the Union's requirements. On October 28, 1979, the IEB again voted to remove Lamb from office by a vote of 21-1.

 Lamb's complaint charges that his suspension and removal were politically motivated and retaliatory measures because of his challenge and opposition to Miller's leadership and policies as the president of the Union. Early in the proceedings he applied for and was denied a preliminary injunction. The defendants also filed and argued a motion for summary judgment. That motion was denied. The parties were then directed to exhaust discovery and pre-trial proceedings were completed.

 Presently before the Court is a second motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants. The memoranda of points and authorities, the stipulation of facts by counsel for the parties, transcripts of IEB meetings,* affidavits and depositions, and the oral argument of counsel have been considered. For the reasons presented below, the Court determines that the defendants are entitled to summary judgment and the complaint should be dismissed.

 While the plaintiffs have referred to and cited a number of incidents and portions of the record which they claim amount to and present disputed factual matters and thus preclude a grant of summary judgment, there is no dispute to the following material and underlying facts which are central to this determination. And on basis thereof the Court decides that entry of summary judgment for the defendants is warranted.

 A.

 In January, 1977, Floyd H. Lamb was elected and assumed office as a member of the IEB, representing District 6 of the UMWA. As an IEB member he received airline and telephone credit cards for use on UMWA business. He also received a UMWA expense book which contained a section entitled "Expense Guidelines" and included detailed instructions for its use. The instructions provided:

 
The back of the expense voucher must include a description of what activities you were involved in when incurring these expenses. This should include the places you visited, the person(s) you saw, and the purpose of the trip. Expenses will not be paid without this information.
 
Receipts must be attached for all hotel, airline, train or car rental bills.

 The UMWA required slips from UMWA credit cards to be attached to the voucher of the individual who has incurred the expense.

 Prior to his election to the IEB, Lamb had served as Secretary-Treasurer of UMWA District 6. In pre-trial discovery he admitted that as Secretary-Treasurer his duties included reviewing expense sheets and that he was thus familiar with the UMWA expense book instructions.

 Initially, in early 1977, Lamb used his expense book and submitted all required expense vouchers to the UMWA arising from service on the IEB. Included in the record as exhibits, are vouchers prepared and submitted by him on January 15 and 31, 1977. Those vouchers were in proper form, they were approved and Lamb was reimbursed by the Union. After March 1977, however, he failed to submit the required expense vouchers and reports until after removal from his IEB position.

 In January and February 1978, Lamb requested, was granted and received three separate cash advances from the UMWA. The advances totaled $ 1300 and were for reimbursable expenses incurred while on UMWA business and purposes. In early August 1978, Miller directed Lamb to document properly all his expenses, including the advances. He was also told that he faced suspension for failure to comply. Lamb had not submitted any expense vouchers by August 28, 1978, when an official meeting of the IEB convened. Lamb was present at the meeting and Miller stated that he ...


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