SD Rostra

From Cat Food to Caviar: Solidarity Ends at Retirement

Guest Commentary
by Derrick Roach

Recently, Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council AFL-CIO, delivered a can of cat food to San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders claiming that is all union members will be able to afford if voters approve pension reform measures for city employees.

While Gonzalez’s concern for the plight of union members is laudable, it seems that as head of the Labor Council and a member of two unions, she will not share in the solidarity of her unionized brothers and sisters as she lives a life of luxury sipping gourmet coffees and snacking on caviar like one of the “fat cats” that she so regularly criticizes.

Tax records for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council AFL-CIO show that during fiscal year 2009, Gonzalez received compensation in the amount of $117,561, which is nearly five percent of the organization’s total revenue. That equates to approximately $1.00 from the union dues of every member that she claims to represent.

Based upon the organization’s report to the Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service, one might think that Gonzalez is already living a lifestyle reserved for the rich and famous as she lounges around her exclusive Mission Bay residence in a million dollar neighborhood while sipping cups of gourmet coffee imported from an organic environmentally friendly plantation that did not exploit indigenous laborers.

Information reported to the IRS by Gonzalez indicates that her function as Secretary-Treasurer of the organization is to “offer an avenue for local unions to come together as one group” as is the stated purpose of the Labor Council. Gonzales further claimed that the Labor Council is not involved in any direct or indirect political activities and one can only assume that with an annual compensation package well above that of other union members, Gonzalez is living the life of luxury and has joined the ranks of the corporate “fat cats.”

As one of those fat cats, it will be interesting to see if Gonzalez will be found sipping her gourmet coffee and snacking on caviar or engaging in her signature partisan politics – contrary to what she reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

NOTE: On August 3, 2011 Dale Cundiff with the Whistleblower Office for the Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC confirmed in a written statement that a formal complaint has been referred to the Informant Claims Examination (ICE) Unit in Ogden, UT to investigate tax fraud allegations that have been filed against the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council AFL-CIO and Lorena Gonzalez who serves as the organization’s Secretary-Treasurer.


Derrick Roach is a California licensed investigator with eleven years experience in performing fraud investigations. His expertise has lead to some of the largest criminal prosecutions of their type by law enforcement in California history. From 2002 to 2006 he served on a local school board and in 2010 he was the Republican nominee for the State Assembly to represent California’s 79th District.

During 2009, Roach received national media attention appearing on Fox News to talk about his involvement in exposing the document dump scandal at a San Diego area ACORN office that was under investigation by the California Attorney General. Since that time he has worked to expose political corruption at all levels of government.

Roach currently serves in a volunteer capacity as Secretary for the Republican Party of San Diego County.

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