Another boss from Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees Dist. Council 37 in N.Y. was sent to prison Aug. 22. Robert Taylor is at least the fifth ex-DC37 boss to become a prison inmate in the recent corruption scandal, which has had more than thirty criminal indictments and more than twenty guilty pleas.
Taylor, ex-president of AFSCME Local 983, was to sentenced to 18 to 54 months for rigging a contract ratification vote and embezzling more than $50,000 of union funds. He agreed to the sentence in June as part of plea bargain with the Manhattan Dist. Atty.’s Office.
Local 983 is now run by reformer Mark Rosenthal, who has been a key source for prosecutors on how DC37 bosses rigged the 1996-97 City contract vote. [Newsday 8/23/00]
Gore and Corrupt Bosses at Democratic Convention
Despite the fact that a potential Gore Justice Dep’t may decide whether or not to prosecute AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka and AFSCME president Gerald W. McEntee, the two continue to play key roles in Gore’s campaign. Both spoke at the Democratic Nat’l Convention in L.A. Trumka has twice used the Fifth Amendment to avoid federal investigators’ questions about $150,000 he allegedly routed into Ron Carey’s 1996 Teamsters campaign. McEntee was also involved in the Teamsters scandal allegedly routing $20,000 into the Carey campaign.
Charles LaBella, former lead prosecutor for the Dep’t of Justice campaign-finance task force, said, “If I were advising a candidate, I would advise him or her very strongly that [Trumka] is not someone you want to embrace.”
When Ross confronted Trumka at the Convention and asked him for an update on the grand jury’s investigation, Trumka said: “Oh, come on, man. …There’s isn’t any, as far as I’m concerned.” Then Ross asked if that meant there was no investigation, and Trumka walked away.
Despite Gore’s shameless embrace of corrupt union bosses, the Gore campaign did do one thing right during the Convention. After Ross reported that Gore was using a telemarketing firm linked to Michael Ansara, who pled guilty in 1997 to a felony connected to the Teamsters scandal and awaits sentencing, the campaign terminated its business with the Mass.-based Share Group, Inc. According to Newsweek, Ansara’s firm received over $1 million in fees from Gore and the three Democratic Party committees.
Peter Flaherty, Nat’l Legal & Pol’y Ctr. president, said, “Al Gore has done the right thing by ending his campaign’s relationship with…Ansara’s company, but it is not enough. He should get away from Trumka as far and as fast as possible. It is Al Gore who may appoint the next Attorney General. Gore should not accept Trumka’s political support when Trumka’s legal fate may soon be in his hands.”