Ex-Union Boss Stout Convicted in Racketeering Case
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A once-powerful municipal union boss was convicted Friday of embezzlement, racketeering and conspiracy for stealing more than $750,000 from the union treasury.
A federal jury convicted Earl Stout and two co-defendants, including Stout’s son, William. A fourth defendant, Frances Rooney, was acquitted.
The 67-year-old Stout was ousted in 1988 after 14 years in control of District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union has 13,000 members, most of them trash collectors, who work for the city of Philadelphia.
″I still say I’m innocent, but that doesn’t make any difference does it?″ said Earl Stout. ″But worst things than this can happen. That’s the way it goes when you’ve been at the top.″
Prosecutor Seth Weber accused Stout of abusing his power even while he won benefits for his members.
″While his people were repairing streets and collecting trash he was picking their pockets,″ Weber said. ″Earl Stout believed he was so good for the union, and had done so much, that he believed he could take some of the money he was entrusted to protect.″
The elder Stout was convicted of conspiracy, racketeering, 32 counts of mail fraud and six counts of embezzlement involving a total of $750,000.
His son was convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud and eight counts of theft.
Cynthia Bullock, former director of the union’s Legal Defense Plan, was convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud.
Ms. Rooney, former union vice president, was acquitted on both counts against her, conspiracy and theft.
Among the allegations against Stout were that he gave no-show jobs at a union-owned John F. Kennedy hospital, which is headed by his son. He also was accused of hiring consultants without permission from the union’s governing boards, converting the beneficiary on two life insurance policies on himself from the hospital to his family, and using hospital employees to work on properties owned by his family or his friends.