In its Feb. 7 editions, The Washington Post erroneously reported that Allied International Union of Security Guards and Special Police settled a strike by its members at Georgetown University. There was no strike at Georgetown.
Four security guards at Howard University have accused University president James E. Cheek of improperly using them as chauffeurs and bodyguards.
The guards, members of a union that ended a 24-day strike against the university Sunday, filed the formal charges against Cheek in sworn statements to the FBI and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
Copies of the statements have not been made public, but federal officials acknowledged receiving them and said they are considering an investigation.
They said the FBI had the authority to investigate because Howard is a federally assisted institution, largely through HEW.
Cheek has refused to discuss the charges when asked by The Washington Post.
The charges against Cheek, which were filed with the authorities during the first week of the strike in early January, allege that the university guards were used to substitute for Cheek's regular chauffeur and bodyguard.
Wayne Davis, one of the striking guards who gave statements to federal authorities, told The Post he has had to drive Cheek to social parties and private, nonschool meetings.
"I've picked up his son from school, taken Cheek horseback riding, even gotten his clothes form the cleaners," Davis said.
"Whenever his (regularly assigned) chauffeur couldn't go, then he'd call on one of the guards to take him where he wanted to go," Davis said. "I've gone out with him maybe a dozen times, but other guards did a whole lot more."
Cheek has both a chauffeur and a bodyguard, and both are armed, according to the guards. The bodyguard, Edward Neverdon, is paid as a security officer by the university, according to guards. The guards said a Neverdon's only duty is to guard Cheek.
Neverdon pushed a reporter away when the reporter attempted to ask Cheek questions recently at Howard University.
The four guards who gave statements to federal authorities are all members of the Allied International Union of Security Guards and Special Police.
The small 7-year-old union, which came to the District less than three years ago, is currently involved in a number of strike efforts in the District.
Besides representing the guards at Howard who went back to work Sunday, the union is also representing strikers at Trinity College and threatening to have its members strike the Washington Hospital Center.
The same union recently settled another strike by its members at Georgetown University.
Some union members at Howard University Hospital have been suspected of involvement in a fire that burned out a classroom at the hospital during the first days of the Howard strike.
District investigators said yesterday, however, that the union members are no longer prime suspects in the blaze, which forced 25 patients to evacuate a post-surgical ward in the hospital.
"The fire has nothing to do with us, no relation at all," said Daniel Cunningham, the union president. "It is a coincidence that the fire started the night before negotiations got going."
Howard administrators say that during the strike the school received two bomb threats and three false alarms and had tires punctured on two trucks that crossed the guards' picket line.
Cunningham denied union involvement in the incidents.