Upstate New York AFSCME Local President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

AFSCME logoDonna Caltabiano was resourceful in skimming union funds. Now she’ll have to put her talents to a different use. On Wednesday, March 25, Caltabiano, formerly president of Local 888 of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), a New York State public employees union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York to felony embezzlement. She had been employed as a secretary at the local, which represents nursing assistants, nurses’ aides and other employees at Columbia-Greene Medical Center in Catskill, N.Y.  CSEA is affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). 

Federal prosecutors charged that Caltabiano, 62, a resident of Catskill, during 2002-06 stole $23,644.76. She embezzled in three ways: cashing 22 union checks to herself and keeping the $12,899.50 in combined proceeds; making 25 unauthorized union payments to herself totaling $9.076.26; and keeping three dues rebate checks totaling $1,669 meant for deposit. As local president, she was the only signatory to the checks. She also forged the signature of the union treasurer on financial reports. The thefts were discovered following an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Caltabiano is scheduled for sentencing on August 4. (Daily Freeman, 3/26/09; OLMS, 4/21/09).