As much as $150,000 may have been embezzled from a union job training fund designed to help Long Island workers recover from post-9-11 layoffs, according to sources familiar with an ongoing probe at the Long Island Federation of Labor.
In an even more embarrassing development for the federation, which represents 250,000 Long Island union members, the suspect in the alleged embezzlement is a former office aide who is a close friend of longtime federation president Jack Caffey. A spokesman for Caffey declined comment on the relationship.
"There is an audit under way and the results are still 10 to 20 days away," said Mark Grossman, a spokesman for the federation. "We'll have no comment until then."
Last month, Caffey called an emergency meeting of his board to tell them that in excess of $50,000 was missing from the job training funds. Caffey said at the time that the former employee is making restitution payments. But union sources familiar with the incident said that this was the second time that money has gone missing from the fund and that Caffey had failed to act in the past.
The money stems from state funds that are routed to the federation through the Consortium for Worker Education, which has orchestrated a major portion of job retraining efforts to help workers who lost their jobs after the September 11 terrorist attack.