New York has many public employees. And they produce a substantial pot of union dues. Carol Bruno saw an opportunity to help herself to some of that money. If she thought she wasn’t going to be caught, she guessed wrong. On October 9, Bruno, a clerk with the New York State Department of Health and a former treasurer with local and regional branches of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), was indicted by a federal grand jury in Syracuse on charges of stealing more than $16,000 from the Albany union.
Prosecutors charge that Bruno, 53, a resident of Albany, during March 2004-March 2006 embezzled $16,118.57 from CSEA Region IV. The details of her thefts were not available. She left her union position in July 2007. Conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Founded nearly a century ago, the union for the last 30 years has been affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Known as AFSCME Local 1000, CSEA has some 265,000 members, mostly state and local government employees plus various private-sector workers and day-care providers. (WSTM.com, 10/10/08; North Country Gazette, 10/10/08).