A federal judge in Manhattan sentenced former President of the New York City Central Labor Council (CLC), Brian M. McLaughlin (who was also part of the AFL-CIO), to 10 years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and corruption charges this week.
The 57-year-old McLaughlin was also a low-level New York City Assemblyman from Queens whose power came from his close ties to the labor union. He “pleaded guilty in March 2008 to racketeering charges that included using embezzlement, fraud and bribes to take money from taxpayers, labor unions and contractors, even from a Little League team in Queens,” reported The New York Times.
Prosecutors charged that Mr. McLaughlin had misappropriated more than $330,000 from his own re-election committee; $185,000 from the New York City Central Labor Council, which he led; and more than $35,000 from the State Assembly. They said he had created fictitious jobs within the labor council and on his own legislative staff, and took kickbacks from the jobholders.
McLaughlin is a perfect example of what is wrong with an intimate connection between unions and government. Not only was he a seven-term Assemblyman, but he remained a union chief which left him able to game the system in both directions for personal gain.
It should be obvious to anyone that no politician should be permitted to remain a part of a union while supposedly serving as an elected official at the same time.
McLaughlin also assisted the courts to try and convict others involved in his criminal enterprise and had hoped to find a more lenient sentence from the effort. Fortunately he was disappointed.