Patricia J. Ford, an ex-boss of the N.Y. State Public Employees Fed’n in Albany, was charged Feb. 22 in a five-count union corruption indictment. First, Ford allegedly embezzled some $10,000 from the union for her personal expenses in Mar. 1997 and, second, allegedly falsified the union’s disbursement journal. Third, because NYPEF was in receipt of a federal grant of more than $10,000 from OSHA, Ford was also charged with embezzlement by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds.
Fourth, she was charged with receipt of bribe by an agent of organization receiving federal funds. Between Mar. and July 1997, Ford allegedly accepted a bribe from Peter Bynum, a N.Y.C.-based political consultant, to whom she awarded union business in exchange for his free help with her 1997 reelection campaign. Finally, she was charged with making false statements to a federal investigator–she allegedly lied about the bribe in May 1998.
Ford served as secretary-treasurer in 1994-97. If convicted, she faces up to 31 years in prison and $1.1 million in fines. The case has been assigned to U.S. Dist. Judge Lawrence E. Kahn (N.D.N.Y., Clinton). [USAO N.D.N.Y. 2/25/02; Times Union (Albany) 2/27/02]