New Jersey Family Guilty of $200,000 Embezzlement

Victor Garcia, Sr., the ex-president of the Nat’l Union of Hosp. & Health Care Employees District 1199J and his son, Victor Garcia Jr., the district’s ex-pension fund assistant executive director, were found guilty Sept. 28 of conspiring to embezzle about $200,000 from the pension fund.  The N.J. based Dist. 1199J is part of the Am. Fed’n of State, County & Mun. Employees. The jury in U.S. Dist. Court in Newark deliberated about 12 hours over three days before returning its verdict.

Senior was also found guilty of conspiring to receive about $200,000 in cash kickbacks from a general contractor who, from 1994-97, made about $6 million in renovations to a building. The contractor, among other things, paid for the repair of Senior’s car in order to retain the union contract. [USAO D.N.J., Media Release 9/28/00]

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]