Gary Weightman and John McGovern got a Valentine’s Day present from the government. But it wasn’t the gift of love. The pair, respectively, had been president and secretary-treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 190 in Clifton, N.J., while holding down full-time postal jobs. On Tuesday, February 14 federal prosecutors in Newark unsealed an indictment against them, as they were being arrested. Weightman and McGovern allegedly embezzled more than $400,000 from the union during 2000-2002, with the money going for everyday expenses. Both men were released on $100,000 bond.
Weightman’s lawyer, Stephen F. Pellino, says his client is innocent. “There may have been some sloppiness in the way books were kept…but he didn’t steal any money,” he remarked. But Weightman, 53, and McGovern, 50, certainly have acted like they’ve got something to hide. The two have been charged with obstructing an investigation by the Department of Labor and APWU by destroying union financial records. And McGovern, who has no attorney, could not be reached. Each man faces one count of conspiracy and two counts of embezzlement; each charge carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (Associated Press, 2/17/06).