What the Unions Can Do

Bloomberg Could Save Millions If City Seized Slush Funds

As for Morgenthau, he hit such a pot of prosecutorial gold in the abuse of union funds that he never really examined the benefits side. A source close to the investigation said the D.A.'s office did indeed receive allegations about Yasser and McEntee's connections to NPA but was unable to pursue them. "We had information from large prescription companies that they couldn't even get a meeting" with the fund, said the source, adding that informants inside the union had detailed the close ties between Yasser and Ullman.

The NPA story—in addition to the scandal of a onetime powerful executive in DC 37 living rent-free in an extravagant penthouse atop the building the fund owned—is merely the latest example of the city's need to gain control of these renegade funds. Malfeasance in the PBA and the Transit PBA led to federal convictions just a couple of years ago. It's time a new administration, free of the compromises that usually affect dicey public decisions, grabs hold of these funds and refocuses them on health services to workers, minus the deal making and the boondoggles. Taking over the funds may not only achieve immediate structural savings. It may give us a cleaner city government.

Research assistance: Yi Chen, Alexa Hinton, Solana Pyne, E.B. Solomont, Will St. John, Clementine Wallace, and Steven I. Weiss

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