The AFL-CIO suspended the pres. of the Long Island Fedtn. of Labor, Jack Caffey, on June 22, along with about 30 other officials. The takeover was prompted by an audit begun after allegations emerged that one frmr. employee had embezzled $50,000 through a union credit card. Auditors with Buchbinder Tunick & Co. found “a disturbing pattern of financial improprieties and financial mismanagement of funds” at the Long Island Fedtn. Workforce Dev. Center. The nonprofit center is supposed to conduct wrkr. training programs.
The AFL-CIO’s northeast regional director, Joe Alvarez, said that while the audit was limited to the training center, its close relationship to the fedtn. means that as trustee, he will investigate the fedtn. and its related groups. “They’re interrelated organizations and they have the same fiduciaries,” he said, “the same people responsible. It’s a very close relationship.” The fedtn. controls about 20,000 public and private bldg. trade wrkrs. on Long Island. [Newsday, 6/23/04]
Houston Union Boss Convicted in Charity Scam
Ed Christensen, pres. of the Harris County Deputies Org., was convicted on June 21 of theft in a scam to convince donors that their contributions to the union would be given to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. The next day, he resigned from the union. But union gen. counsel Burt Springer said he would appeal the conviction and sentence of 4 yrs.’ probation.
According to state prosecutor Russel Turbeville, Christensen split about $350,000 with a telemarketing firm soliciting contributions, ostensibly for Toys for Tots. The telemarketers got most of the funds, with the union keeping $70,000. Turbeville also refuted Springer’s claim that Christensen had no knowledge that the funds were being raised for false purposes. The union earlier agreed to pay $135,000 to settle civil actions brought by attnys. with the state Attny. Gen. and the Harris County attnys.’ ofc. [Houston Chronicle, 6/22/04, 6/23/04]