Justice Delay: Diop’s Embezzlement Trial Postponed

The trial of three AFSCME Dist. Council 37 bosses charged with stealing more than $1 million in union funds was postponed Oct. 3 pending a mental health examination of one of the defendants. After defense attorneys reported that Albert Diop, ex-president of Local 1549 and AFSCME international vice-president, was not competent to stand trial, Manhattan trial judge William Leibovitz ordered that Diop undergo mental examinations by two court-appointed doctors. The trial for Diop and two of his top aides, Mary Wilson and Lionel Scott, will resume Nov. 13 pending results of the psychological evaluations.

Leibovitz said Diop, who is currently out on bail, will be remanded to Bellevue Hospital Center if he does not show up for the evaluations, regardless of the reason. He also warned attorneys that the case is in no way being put off indefinitely. Defense attorney Ramon Pagan said Diop is being treated for “depression and other factors” at Lenox Hill Hospital and cannot be released from observation for at least 25 days.

Diop, Wilson and Scott are three of about 30 bosses and associates from DC37 facing corruption charges. Diop and Martin Lubin, former associate director of DC37 were convicted in July of rigging a contract ratification vote to ensure it would pass. Sentencing for the two was scheduled for Oct. 5. Diop faces up to 4 years in prison for the previous conviction, and Lubin faces up to 7 years. [Newsday 10/4/00]