Expelled Buffalo Govt. Union Chief now “Cleaning Up” Stage Union

Three years after the local govt. union expelled its president, that same man now heads the local stagehands union after dissidents ousted its frmr. president on charges of favoritism in job assignments.

In Nov. 1999, John Scardino Jr. was suspended from the presidency of Amer. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 264 in Buffalo, after an internal audit found evidence that he had written checks to himself from the union’s checking acct. In Feb. 2000, an AFSCME judicial panel convicted him on six counts of improper use of $4,421 in union funds, and barred him from union leadership.

After making restitution, Scardino ended up supervising Buffalo’s garbage crews. He also continued his union involvement, first as business agent of Local 121 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees (IATSE), then also as regional rep. of Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 52. This past August, Scardino was appointed trustee of IATSE Local 10 by the Intl. hierarchy. Two dissidents proved in hearings that the then-president, Randall Krautsack, and business agent Charles Avery, diverted job assignments to their families and friends, while shutting out other local members.

The attny. representing the two dissidents doubted whether Scardino could juggle all his union jobs. “I don’t have a problem with Scardino,” said Richard D. Furlong, “but he’s got to be committed to cleaning up the union.” And one of the dissidents, Bruce Beyer, has already questioned that commitment, filing charges against Scardino with the Natl. Labor Relations Bd. after Scardino called in Niagra Falls workers for a Buffalo show. [Buffalo News  9/16/02]