Ex-New York Boss Guilty of Stealing $50,000

Ex-treasurer of Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 384, Connie Lango, pled guilty Aug. 6 to stealing over $50,000 from the union. The plea was the latest conviction resulting from the Manhattan Dist. Atty.’s corruption investigation of N.Y.’s AFSCME Dist. Council 37.

Lango and co-defendant Francine Autovino, ex-Local 384 president, were the first bosses indicted in the DC37 probe that has nabbed 27 indictments. Grand larceny charges against Autovino, who pled not guilty in Mar., are still pending. Lango, who was the local’s treasurer for 11 years, pled guilty to two counts of grand larceny. She faces three years in prison when sentenced Oct. 4. Autovino faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Investigators said Lango stole tens of thousands of dollars by falsifying the financial records and taking the proceeds of bank checks that had been written out to herself, credit card companies and car leasing companies between May 1994 and Sep. 1995. Lango admitted that she and Autovino, once friends, went on a $3,000 personal vacation to Hawaii and had the union pay for it. But Lango’s plea marked the latest chapter in what had become a bitter rivalry between the two. When members first complained about missing funds, the two blamed each other. In 1996, Autovino convinced the union’s board to fire Lango. When the two women were arraigned, Lango yelled at the judge that it was unfair that Autovino’s bail had been set at a lower amount. [N.Y. Times 8/8/99]