Audit: New York Bosses Misused $817,000

Ex-bosses of the N.Y. Metro Area Postal Union allegedly misspent over $817,000 in union funds, according to an outside audit. It found improper spending for personal travel, meals, clothing and liquor, as well as thousands of dollars paid out in allegedly improper bonuses. The audit covered 1997-98 spending but has led federal investigators to subpoena all records back to 1995.

Newly elected president, William Smith, said he hired the auditing firm, Pogogeff & Lafharis, to look at the books because: “I was concerned that my administration not be left holding the bag.” Specifically, the audit found “evidence of waste and padding of expenditures” by bosses, including personal expenses charged to union credit cards. It said bosses paid for family and friends to travel at union expense and charged restaurant and grocery bills to the union. Reportedly, a majority of the expenses were approved without required signoffs and documentation.

The audit found that on Apr. 15, just days after ex-boss Josie McMillian and others were defeated by Smith’s slate, the ex-bosses authorized a total of $147,500 in back pay for themselves. Auditors said documentation for these payments was “inadequate.” The audit also states, “There is evidence that indicates that officers of the union received compensation exceeding the amount to which each was entitled.”

McMillian ran the union since 1981. Ex-vice-pres., Anthony Caniano, has called the accusations “politically motivated.” [Daily News 8/16/99]