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Suffolk union war: Now, a battle on the furniture front
The war between the new regime of Suffolk's Association of Muncipal Employees and ex-president Cheryl Felice has a new battleground — office furniture.
Dan Farrell, the AME president who defeated Felice last spring, lashed out at the benefit fund for spending $60,000 in what he termed “whmsical and unneeded upgrades” to redecorate its offices in Bohemia.
“This is a waste of our members' dues and adds insult to injury to those 400 county workers who have recently been laid off," said Farrell. He urged that the county legislature investigate the “frivolous” expenditures.
Jeff Tempera, benefit fund chairman, said the benefit fund spent only $56,500, and only $3,400 could be attributed to Felice’s work space. Tempera justified the expense, saying the office furniture and computers brought to the current offices when they moved in in 2006 are now outdated and need replacement. He said they also improved security and installed a new phone system and new electrical wiring.
The union earlier attacked Felice’s release from her $79,900 a year county job in the sheriff’s office to work as deputy administrator ar the fund. Earlier, they also attacked her benefit fund appointment which pays up to $56,500 a year, and was approved by Felice allies and Bellone appointees over union objections.