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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Most of AME judicial board quits over discipline cases

Five of seven members of the judicial board of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees resigned in protest after the union's board of directors failed to follow through on their recommendations for discipline after recent union elections.

Joe Congedo, judicial board chairman, and four fellow members stepped down June 25 when the board of directors failed to act against the slate led by Christopher Cuddihy. The judicial board found the Cuddihy team guilty of misusing a union computer disc containing members' names and addresses to attack opponents. The judicial board recommended the slate be reprimanded and barred from running in union elections for the next three years.

Congedo accused directors who backed ex-president Dan Farrell of "trading favors" -- supporting dismissal of charges against Cuddihy's team in return for dropping pending charges against Farrell. "Horse trading or side deals cannot be tolerated because it strikes against the impartiality of the unions' judicial process," said Congedo.

The judicial board also recommended penalties against Farrell, but State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Asher has put a hold on any union action until July 15, in light of ongoing litigation between Farrell and foes. The judicial board has recommended Farrell be fined $250, reprimanded and barred from running for a union post for three years.

Meanwhile, new AME president Brian Macri has remained out of the fray and was sworn in last week in an event at union headquarters, which County Executive Steve Bellone attended.

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