Prosecutors in Buffalo Area Conduct Probe of Missing Funds

Erie County, N.Y. prosecutors have a hunch that a local police officers’ union has been ripped off.  And they’ve got a good idea as to the culprits’ identity.  On December 4, the district attorney’s office confirmed it is investigating thefts from the Transit Police Benevolent Association, which represents law enforcement officers for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), for embezzlement of more than $30,000.  “We are looking for a charge against anyone responsible for the misappropriation of union funds,” said John DeFranks, first deputy assistant attorney.  “We have centered upon one person at this time.”


That person likely had inside help.  Sources say that at least two union officials in longtime leadership positions, are under scrutiny.  DeFranks expects to wrap up the probe within a few weeks.  NFTA Executive Director Lawrence Meckler emphasized the investigation is focused solely on union funds.  “We are cooperating fully, but it is strictly a union matter.  No authority funds are involved,” he said.  (Buffalo News, 12/5/06).