According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, minutes before his trial on Jul. 27, Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees member Abraham Aly, in-house architect of Newton, MA, pled guilty to 9 counts of bribery, 5 counts of mail fraud, 3 counts of embezzlement and 1 count of conspiracy. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern stated, “Newton was bilked by Aly for construction…work at 2 high schools, 2 elementary schools and at City Hall itself. This was done so that the defendant could pocket cash kickbacks and put a new roof on his own house. The losers were the taxpayers of the City of Newton and the public trust.” Aly admitted that during 1993-95 he used his position to extract personal favors and cash from a vendor. The vendor overbilled the city about $50,000 and kicked-back about $25,000, in cash, to Aly. Payments were typically made at job sites and delivered in newspapers or at the bottoms of coffee cups.
AFL-CIO Blasts Avondale with $3M
AFL-CIO and its Metal Trades Department said Jul. 31 that they will spend $3 million of union members’ money over the next 18 months on a campaign against Avondale Industries’ shipyard near New Orleans. Avondale has successfully defended itself against union bosses in a 5-year legal battle over a 1993 election that was tainted by voter irregularities. Avondale’s Ed Winter said, “We are going to pursue our due process in the courts. The company feels that is the only forum available to get a fair review of what actually happened in 1993.” AFL-CIO picked William Ragan to head the assault: “Justice for Avondale.” He led the Service Employees Int’l. Union’s violent “Justice for Janitors” effort. [Times-Picayune 08/01/98]