Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert Morgenthau’s probe of the scandal-ridden Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees’ Dist. Council 37 won his first two indictments on Mar. 31. DC37 Local 384 president Francine Autovino and treasurer Connie Lango were indicted for stealing over $240,000 from union coffers. Both pled not guilty at their arraignments on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. Reportedly, both blamed the other for the missing thousands of dollars.
According to Morgenthau, Lango stole over $190,000 from May 1994 to Sep. 1995. She allegedly asked Local 384’s bank to write checks payable to herself, credit-card companies and car leasing firms. Reportedly, Autovino took over $50,000 by double-dipping on car expenses, filing false receipts and giving her friends and relatives freebie trips. Her alleged schemes included submitting invoices for printing union brochures and then named herself as the payee. Investigators are still looking into jewelry purchases Autovino made on her union credit card.
Both also allegedly spent more than $31,000 on an unauthorized Jun. 1994 junket to Hawaii via a union convention in San Diego. And Lango also reportedly stopped in Las Vegas.
Autovino was expelled from DC37 on Mar. 11. Lango was fired in 1996. Autovino faces 15 years in prison. Lango faces seven. To date, five DC37 bosses have been charged with crimes. [N.Y. Post, Newsday, N.Y. Times 4/1/99]