Tom Robbins of the Village Voice reports more disturbing details of a possible case of embezzlement from the AFL-CIO’s Long Island affiliate reported in the previous issue of Union Corruption Update. The suspected theft of $150,000 apparently came from a union job training fund designed to help Long Island workers recover from post-9-11 layoffs. Even more embarrassing, the suspect is a former office aide who is a close friend of longtime fedtn. president Jack Caffey.
Fedtn. Spokesman Mark Grossman said that an audit was under way, and also said there would be no comment by fedtn. officials until the audit is completed. Last month, Caffey told an emergency meeting of his board that $50,000 was missing from the job training funds, and that a frmr. employee was making restitution payments. But union sources familiar with the incident told Robbins that this was the second time that money has gone missing from the fund and that Caffey had failed to act in the past.
The money stems from state funds that are routed to the federation through the Consortium for Worker Education, which has orchestrated a major portion of job retraining efforts to help workers who lost their jobs after the September 11th terrorist attack. The alleged embezzlement has been reported to both Suffolk County D.A. Thomas Spota and the charities bureau of state attny. general Eliot Spitzer, Robbins reported. [Village Voice, 4/6/04]