AFSCME issued Feb. 8 the first public accounting of New York’s scandal-ridden Dist. Council 37. It confirmed dissidents’ belief that DC37 was involved in a members dues scam enabling its bosses to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses. Between 1995-98, ten bosses spent $450,000 on DC37 credit cards, but only three officials submitted any documentation. In DC37’s 1998 budget, bosses deliberately underestimated the number of dues-paying members by 8,000 to 9,000, which resulted in income of $2 million.
The report also detailed a scheme in which some of DC37’s locals made expenditures that would be paid for by DC37, but DC37 would then hold back dues money as payment for the spending. It allowed locals to engage in spending that did not show up on the local books. One example was $600,000 that Local 372 ex-president Charles Hughes took for “fraudulent overtime he claimed to have worked during the years 1993 through 1997.” [Newsday 2/9/99]
New York Bosses’ Suspension Upheld
On Feb 2., top AFSCME boss Gerald W. McEntee upheld the suspensions of three bosses of Dist. Council 37’s Local 2507 in New York can proceed. Kevin Lightsey, Kirk Delnick and Rudy Boyd were suspended without pay in Jan. amid charges they double-dipped on auto reimbursements, took unauthorized trips and tried to block an investigation of the officers by the local’s executive board. AFSCME’s constitution says officers can be suspended only if they pose an “imminent danger” to the union. McEntee himself has corruption questions stemming from his role in the Teamsters-Ron Carey campaign’s money laundering scandal under investigation by the U.S. Atty. in N.Y. [Newsday 2/3/99]