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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Case of arsonist-boss-union-rep rattles CSEA

For years, Steven Raucci managed Schenectady School District facilities - while also representing its employees as head of a Civil Service Employees Association unit. He did so, that is, until authorities accused him of placing explosives at homes and on cars to terrorize workers he deemed enemies. He was convicted April 1 of 12 criminal counts including arson.

At his trial, a union secretary testified about meeting in 2008 with CSEA state president Danny Donohue to try to get the imperious Raucci bounced from his labor post. Raucci was ousted, but only after his 2009 arrest. Union higher-ups had received unsigned complaints about him long before. Donohue's response? No comment, says spokesman Steve Madarasz.

Yet Donohue, who started in the 1960s as a truck driver at the Central Islip Psychiatric Center, seeks attention in other ways. On Thursday he blasted Gov. David A. Paterson's emergency move to put off wage hikes. Meanwhile, Donohue runs for the powerful secretary-treasurer's job at CSEA's parent American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Opposing him is former District Council 37 administrator Lee Saunders, now a top aide to AFSCME president Gerald McEntee.

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