Four ex-bosses and one ex-staffer of Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees Dist. Council 37 were indicted May 10 on charges of misusing union funds. Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert M. Morgenthau said Eugene Bruno, DC37’s chief lobbyist, Lionel Scott and Mary Wilson, who were both DC37 vice-presidents, were indicted on charges of stealing $60,000 by filing expense reports and cashing airline tickets for trips they never took. Scott and Albert A. Diop, also a vice-president, were indicted on charges of having DC37 pay for a $16,000 Alaskan cruise.
Of the four, all but Bruno have been indicted before in the DC37 probe. With the latest round of indictments, over 30 union officials and vendors have faced criminal charges, and over 20 of them have pled guilty.
Dan Castleman, of the DA’s Office, said Wilson failed to attend a scheduled court appearance and was considered a fugitive. An investigator who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Wilson was believed to be in Aruba. Diop, who is scheduled to go on trial on June 12 on other corruption and vote-rigging charges, was released. Bail for Bruno was set at $10,000 and Pescatore at $30,000.
Additionally, Joseph Alfano, an ex-staff employee of AFSCME Local 372 was reportedly indicted on charges of bribing a union official. Florence Pescatore, owner of Astra Tours & Travel which allegedly aided various DC37 bosses in travel schemes, was indicted. The DA’s office also said that Steven Caridi, manager of Friar Tuck Inn, near Albany, pled guilty Apr. 6 to paying $15,000 to Wilson for union business. Caridi agreed to a sentence of 2 to 6 years in prison, and the company that owns the inn agreed to supervision by an outside monitor for 5 years. [N.Y. Times, Newsday 5/11/00]