Handling union funds had its perks for Thomas Pokrywczynski. And those perks weren’t necessarily legal. Pokrywczynski, formerly secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1342 and treasurer of the ATU’s New York State Legislative Conference Board, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on February 16 to theft of about $254,000 in funds from the West Seneca, N.Y.-based union. He had been indicted back in August for embezzling $277,548.72.
Federal prosecutors say Pokrywczynski, 59, a resident of the Buffalo suburb of Lancaster, during January 2002-March 2008 stole approximately $71,000 from the local and another $183,000 from the conference board. He was removed from his posts in March 2008 following an internal audit showing extensive cash shortages. Local President Vincent Crehan reported the losses to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, which then conducted its own investigation. The local represents more than 1,000 employees of the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority.