Patricia Ford was convicted on June 19 of accepting a bribe when she was secy.-treasurer of the New York Public Employees Fedtn. (PEF), AFL-CIO, in 1997. The Albany-based union represents white-collar state govt. workers. Ford was secy.-treasurer from Aug. 1994 until July 1997, when she and other office holders led by PEF president Jim Sheedy were ousted by a slate of candidates led by the current president, Roger Benson.
During her trial in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Northern Dist. of NY, in Albany, Ford was accused of receiving free campaign materials from publicity consultant Peter Bynum in exchange for a promise to place him on retainer from the union if she won. Later, Bynum allegedly submitted a $58,200 invoice for work performed in ’97 for the union’s campaign against state budget cuts that included the materials he provided for Ford’s reelection campaign. Ford was also tried for embezzling union funds, but was acquitted by the same jury that found her guilty of the bribery charge. [Albany Times-Union, 6/10, 6/11, 6/18, 6/21, 2003]