An AFSCME judicial panel released its corruption findings Apr. 30 on ex-DC37 and Local 1549 boss Albert A. Diop. Here are the reported highlights: Diop had Local 1549 pay $617,398 to rent a Manhattan penthouse from 1991-99. He had the local pay between $1,200 and $1,600 a month for the penthouse’s maid service. Despite living in N.Y. City, Diop charged 446 hotel stays in the city (128 on weekends) totaling $162,431. Diop had the local pay almost $135,000 over three years (about $3,750 a month) to lease a Lincoln Town Car while at the same time DC37 paid Diop a monthly auto allowance of $665 a month. His union credit card had $82,269 for cameras and electronic equipment; $23,834 for clothing; $22,829 for jewelry; and $22,251 for pawnshop purchases. Reportedly, the Manhattan Dist. Atty.’s office is conducting further investigations. [N.Y. Times & Newsday 5/1/99] Disturbingly, Diop, also an AFSCME Int’l Vice-President, apparently has not been removed from AFSCME’s board.
Members Leaving AFSCME in New York
In the wake of the ravages of the DC37 corruption scams, AFSCME has suffered two major exoduses of N.Y. members. Corrections officers voted Apr. 29 to leave AFSCME Dist. Council 82 in favor of the independent N.Y. State Correction Officers & Police Benevolent Ass’n. “The major reason for the challenge was to be rid of AFSCME,” said officer Grant Martin. COPBA’s official statement said, “We now begin the process of rebuilding membership trust through communication and honesty… As a member of [COPBA], you will know where your dues are spent…” [Buffalo News 4/30/99 & BNA 5/3/99]
DC37 itself is on the verge of losing WNYC radio station workers to the Am. Fed. of Television & Radio Artists. An overwhelming majority of workers recently voted to change affiliations. Reportedly, AFSCME boss Gerald W. McEntee must decide whether to let the WNYC workers leave or invoke an AFL-CIO rule barring one union from raiding another. [Daily News 5/3/99]
New York City Disclosure Laws Proposed
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani reportedly plans to introduce legislation to the N.Y. City Council that would require government employee unions to disclose potentially embarrassing information, such as bosses’ salaries, in order to help prevent the current wave of corruption in DC37 from reoccurring. “In light of what’s happened with… DC37, there has to be more accountability because city money pays for significant portions of municipal union leaders’ salaries,” said a Giuliani aide. Union bosses have already attacked the proposal. [N.Y. Times 5/5/99]