The ongoing corruption probes into the Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Dist. Council 37 in N.Y. has caught another union boss and three of his aides. AFSCME Local 1549 boss Albert A. Diop was suspended Mar. 3 by AFSCME after an audit found over $2 million in undocumented expenditures. Diop was a top lieutenant of recently retired and disgraced DC37 boss Stanley Hill. Diop was “widely seen as the power behind the throne at the mighty” DC37. Diop’s 1998 salary was $191,000, and he had access to a penthouse at DC37’s compound in lower Manhattan. Insiders said Diop used union funds for trips to Denmark, Japan and Switzerland. Diop’s post as an AFSCME Int’l Vice-President is pending.
The audit uncovered that Local 1549 had paid out $1.2 million directly to Diop and three other top bosses in the last four years. There was no documentation to justify these payments and most were listed as entertainment expenses. The audit also said that the bosses charged $910,000 on a union credit card since 1994. Auditors said the charges appeared to be for personal purposes. AFSCME mandates that a hearing be held within 21 days to determine whether the suspensions are valid. The bosses suspended with Diop are James Edey, Lionel Scott and Mary Wilson.
In a somewhat hypocritical statement top AFSCME boss, Gerald W. McEntee, said, “This apparent fraud and abuse is absolutely unacceptable to AFSCME, to the members of Local 1549 and to me. Let our action today send a message. We are working aggressively to root out problems, and we are acting decisively to remove those engaged in wrongdoing.” McEntee is under investigation himself for his links to the $538,000 Teamsters money-laundering scandal. According to U.S. Dist. Court records, McEntee wrongfully solicited $20,000 for Ron Carey’s 1996 campaign. [N.Y. Times 3/4/99]