Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)

New York Public Employees Ex-Official Sentenced for Embezzlement

AFSCME logoOn August 31, Kelly Fahrenkopf, former vice president of Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Local 316, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to one year in prison to be followed by three years of probation for embezzling more than $11,500 in funds from the West Coxsackie, N.Y. union. She pleaded guilty in April to the thefts, which occurred during August 2006-March 2007. Fahrenkopf also must pay $11,500 in restitution. CSEA represents New York state and local government employees and is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME.

AFSCME Local Official in Upstate New York Pleads Guilty

AFSCME logoOn April 20, Kelly Fahrenkopf, former vice president of Civil Service Employees Association Local 316, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to one count of embezzling over $11,500 in funds from the West Coxsackie (Greene County) union. The union is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The guilty plea follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards.

New York State Public Employees Union President Charged

John Vinson isn't the only former local official within New York State's mammoth Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), an AFSCME affiliate, to be in recent trouble for embezzlement. Rank-and-file members no doubt hope he'll be the last. Vinson, president of CSEA Local 659, was arrested by state police on Wednesday, February 17, and charged with embezzling more than $70,000 from the Albany union. He was arraigned in Albany City Court and released on $10,000 bond.

Public Employees Union Treasurer in Albany, New York Sentenced for Embezzlement

AFSCME logoAs treasurer of the largest public employees union in New York State, Carol Bruno managed to help herself to its treasury. Now she'll have a few years to think about it. On Friday, May 15, Bruno, formerly an administrative assistant for Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Region IV, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Albany to three years of probation, the first 10 months of which will involve home confinement.

Beginning in March 2004 and for a period of two years thereafter, Bruno took about $40,000 from union accounts until certain fellow office employees noticed money was missing and notified the authorities. In July 2007, she was removed from her state government and union posts, and in January 2009 pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $16,000. CSEA Region IV is alternately known as Local 1000 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. (Associated Press, 5/15/09).

Upstate New York AFSCME Local President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

AFSCME logoDonna Caltabiano was resourceful in skimming union funds. Now she'll have to put her talents to a different use. On Wednesday, March 25, Caltabiano, formerly president of Local 888 of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), a New York State public employees union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to felony embezzlement. She had been employed as a secretary at the local, which represents nursing assistants, nurses' aides and other employees at Columbia-Greene Medical Center in Catskill, N.Y.  CSEA is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Second Albany Boss Admits Theft

Daniel Vallee, ex-boss of Civil Service Employees Ass'n Local 316 in Albany, pled guilty Nov. 9 before U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas J. McAvoy (N.D.N.Y., Reagan) to embezzling $19,300.09 in union funds. Vallee admitted that from May 1988 until Jan. 2000 he wrote checks to himself drawn on the local's account. As president, Vallee was one of two people authorized to sign the checks. The other person, Nancy Groome, ex-secretary-treasurer of the local, cosigned some of the checks but Vallee admitted he forged her name on a majority of them. In some instances, Vallee also received excess reimbursements and kept the funds. He spent the embezzled funds on personal expenses such as his mortgage, car repairs, credit card bills, and gifts for others.

New York Bosses Sentenced for $130,700 Theft

U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas J. McAvoy (N.D.N.Y., Reagan) sentenced Nancy Groome on Mar. 12 and Daniel Vallee on Mar. 11 for the embezzlement of funds from Civil Serv. Employees Ass'n Local 316 in Albany, which is part of Am. Fed'n of State, Co. & Mun. Employees Local 1000. Groom and Vallee served as Local 316's secretary-treasurer and president, respectively.

From July 1993 to Nov. 1999, Groome wrote 319 unauthorized union checks, totaling $111,476.48, the majority of which were made payable to herself. Some were to third party venders for union-related training trips that she never took. She spent the funds, in part, on vacations, groceries, auto insurance, gifts to others, and other living expenses. She pled guilty July 11. She was secretary-treasurer from 1980 until Mar. 2000.

Second Albany Boss Admits Theft

Daniel Vallee, ex-boss of Civil Service Employees Ass'n Local 316 in Albany, pled guilty Nov. 9 before U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas J. McAvoy (N.D.N.Y., Reagan) to embezzling $19,300.09 in union funds. Vallee admitted that from May 1988 until Jan. 2000 he wrote checks to himself drawn on the local's account. As president, Vallee was one of two people authorized to sign the checks. The other person, Nancy Groome, ex-secretary-treasurer of the local, cosigned some of the checks but Vallee admitted he forged her name on a majority of them. In some instances, Vallee also received excess reimbursements and kept the funds. He spent the embezzled funds on personal expenses such as his mortgage, car repairs, credit card bills, and gifts for others.

New York Boss Forged Checks for $111,000

Ex-Albany boss, Nancy Groome, admitted July 11 that she embezzled more than $111,000 from Civil Serv. Employees Ass'n Local 316. She pled guilty to one count of union embezzlement and told U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas J. McAvoy (N.D.N.Y., Reagan) that she forged union checks to pay for groceries, car insurance, and other personal expenses. Allegedly, she forged 319 checks between 1993-99.

Groome wrote checks on a union account  made out to herself. She also wrote checks to vendors for union-related training trips that she never took. She was Local 316's treasurer from 1980 until Mar. 2000. The checks were reportedly forged between July 22, 1993, and Nov. 2, 1999. CSEA rules require that checks be signed by the union president and the chief financial officer, but Groome reportedly forged those signatures. The missing funds were discovered during a union audit. She reportedly faces prison time and $111,476 in restitution when she is sentenced Nov. 1. [Times Union (Albany) 7/13/01]

Members Move to End Local

 Asserting rising disgust with their union, nearly 100 KCAL-TV employees in L.A. have decided they no longer want to be represented by the Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers due in part to union corruption. Members petitioned the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. Aug. 5 requesting Local 45 be removed. The petition was withdrawn, but they are still looking for alternatives. In a complaint letter to Local 45 bosses, members stated their motivation includes “the financial mismanagement of our money” and the strike fund “which we’ve paid into for years, is now non-existent, and no one from IBEW has satisfactorily answered our questions as to where the money has gone.” The corruption reference is to James E. Jackson (see: UCU 1.6 8/24/98), Local 45 business manger, who was recently indicted for allegedly embezzling over $63,000. [Daily Variety 8/25/98]

Syndicate content