PEC charges by L4522foG

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									                             Charges against
                        Peter Meringolo, Chairman
                New York State Public Employee Conference
Peter Meringolo damaged the reputation of the NYSPEC by selling PEC’s influence and
prestige to the patrons of his private lobbying business.

In that;
Peter Meringolo abused his power, manipulated the Board of Directors and violated the
trust of the members of NYSPEC when he aggressively acted to have NYSPEC take his
client’s side in a dispute between his client and two member organizations. He failed to
disclose to the Board of Directors that he had a conflict of interest in the dispute
between the parties.

That Meringolo perpetrated this action beyond the scope of his or NYSPEC’s authority
over the conduct of its members for his own personal gain.

Peter Meringolo used his position of chairman to gain favor with his client, Cheryl Felice
of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees (SCAME) for his own
personal gain, and in so doing damaged the reputation of NYSPEC.

Furthermore, Peter Meringolo used his position of trust to tarnish the reputations of
members in good standing CWA District 1 and CWA Local 1180 by sending a letter of
concern about a legal decertification effort on behalf of the members of SCAME without
having all the facts in the dispute.

And at the SCAME convention while a featured speaker as the chairman of NYSPEC
maligned the reputations of members of NYSPEC by characterizing the legal
decertification effort of CWA on behalf of the members as the “rape” of that
organization.

Specifically;
His letter objecting to CWA’s efforts was initiated in a July 29, 2009 where he wrote ‘The
letter will go out according to schedule.’ That was prior to an alleged objective gathering
of the facts at a meeting to be held August 5, 2005 by the Treasurer of NYSPEC Joseph
Mannion. Peter Meringolo’s presence at the meeting following his stated intent to send
the letter predetermined the outcome of the investigation and assured it would be
nothing more than a rump session. He used the meeting as an opportunity for him and
his business associate Randi Delirod to impress their client Cheryl Felice and influence
the Treasurer’s report.

This violation of our trust and his abuse of his authority for his own personal gain must
be corrected and action must be taken to ensure such abuse does not happen again.
                                     SPECIFICATIONS
To wit: In an e-mail sent on July 26, 2009 requesting authority to take action.
   1. Meringolo failed to disclose his conflict of interest.
   2. Meringolo failed to disclose that all parties in the dispute were members.
   3. Meringolo failed to disclose that the meeting of June 17th was a legislative
       director’s meeting not a mandatory meeting of the Board of Directors.
   4. According to the minutes of the June 17, 2009 meeting Meringolo was not
       authorized to take any action or send any correspondence regarding this
       dispute.
   5. Meringolo failed to disclose that NYSPEC has no provision in its Bylaws for
       the Board of Directors or any officer to accept, prosecute and adjudicate
       any charges brought by any member against another or to raise concerns
       or displeasure with the actions of any member of NYSPEC.
   6. Meringolo acknowledged his lack of authority as Chairman but still insisted
       on sending his letter of concern on behalf of his client in the name of
       NYSPEC.
To wit: At the SCAME convention last month speaking as the chairman of NYSPEC
   7. Meringolo maligned the reputation of a member of NYSPEC, when he was
       falsely stated that he: “threw off a CWA board member who wouldn’t admit
       that CWA was raping AME.”
The e-mail with highlighting and comments added follows:
      From: admin@nyspec.com
      To:Cheliotes, Arthur;
      Subject:[PROBABLY SPAM] Raid on a PEC union
      Date: Sunday, July 26, 2009 9:31:17 PM

      All PEC Presidents/Legislative Directors I am sure by now all of you have received the
      letter from one of our PEC members, Cheryl A. Felice, President of Suffolk County
      Association of Municipal Employees, Inc. She has asked for our support in her fight
      against a raid of her membership by District 1 of the CWA. Those of you who attended
      the PEC meeting in Albany on June 17, 2009, heard Randy Delirod and Cheryl Felice
      speak on this issue and ask for our support.

      The direction I received from that meeting by the PEC members in attendance was to
      render our support,(FALSE – THE MINUTES ONLY CALL FOR JOE MANNION TO
      GATHER MORE INFORMATION) knowing full well that this attack could come against
      any one of us who may not be affiliated with an international organization. (IT COULD
      ALSO COME FROM ANOTHER UNAFFILIATED ORGANIZATION WHO IS A MEMBER
      OF NYSPEC) At the mandatory PEC Presidents meeting on April 28, 2009 at the UFA
      Headquarters, it was decided that as PEC Chairman, I had the authority to address all
      issues in writing as they pertain to PEC’s legislative agenda without first having to receive
      the ok of all PEC members. (TRUE BUT ONLY TO STOP TIER V, NOT SUPPORT HIS
      CLIENT’S SIDE IN A DISPUTE)

      While this issue is not legislative, (TRUE) it is about a sister union that is a member of our
      organization. My feeling is the same as all of those at the meeting on June 17th when
      AME solicited our help. I will be writing a letter on PEC’s letterhead giving full support to
      our sister union (NOT LEGISLATIVE THEREFORE NEVER AUTHORIZED AT JUNE
         TH
       17 MEETING TO DO SO. THIS COULDN’T WAIT BECAUSE HIS CLIENT NEEDED
       MATERIAL OVER THE SUMMER TO STOP MEMBERS FROM SIGNING CARDS)and
       informing CWA's Vice President, District 1, Christopher Shelton of our displeasure
       (WHAT ABOUT DISPLEASURE OF SCAME MEMBERS WITH FELICE FOR TRASHING
       BASIC DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES THAT THE BOARD MEMBERS WERE NEVER
       TOLD ABOUT?)at the attempted raid on an organized union (CREATED BY A RAID ON
       A THEN MEMBER OF NYSPEC) of more than 25 years that has always fought for its
       members. (THAT’S WHAT CSEA CLAIMED IT DID BUT NYSPEC TOOK NO
       ACTION)We have always talked about the importance of staying united and supporting
       each other in our (LEGISLATIVE) issues even if they only pertain to a few of us. We all
       recognize that an attack on one of us today should be viewed as a serious issue because
       the same attack can happen to any one of us tomorrow. Since all the Presidents were not
       present at the June 17th meeting, I am requesting that you all respond to me, hopefully in
       the positive, to fully support the letter. If I do not hear from you by this Wednesday, July
       29, 2009, I will assume your non response to be a yes (WHERE IS THIS TYPE OF E-
       MAIL POLLING ALLOWED IN THE BYLAWS WHY COULDN’T THIS WAIT FOR A
       MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS) in support of the letter and the letter will
       be sent out on July 30, 2009. (THIS COULDN’T WAIT BECAUSE CHERYL FALICE
       NEEDED MATERIAL OVER THE SUMMER TO STOP MEMBERS FROM SIGNING
       CARDS) If anyone has a problem with this letter being sent, I ask that you contact me
       immediately via my cell phone at 917-418-7981 or by replying to this e-mail. Many of you
       have already stated we should help our sister union in whatever way we can and some of
       you have already written letters on AME's behalf. As always, I just want to keep everyone
       informed of what PEC is doing. Shortly I will be updating you on proposals of what PEC
       should be doing via public relations, ads, articles etc. with reference to our ongoing
       issues, such as Tier V, pension raids, and health and welfare issues. We are putting
       together some proposals for your consideration and approval. Just because there has
       been a little calm on some heated issues, we should not be lured to sleep. As always, I
       am proud to represent such a prestigious group of unions and I thank you for your
       support.

       Peter D. Meringolo
       Chairman

Assuming that NYSPEC had authority to review the conduct of its members, as an
organization that pursues due process rights for all public workers in New York State we
would assure that every member of NYSPEC have due process rights. Following Article
XI of our Bylaws Roberts Rules of Order would serve as our guide. Under Roberts
Rules of Order - Art. XIII. Sections 72. 73 and 74 the appropriate action to determine if a
complaint rose to the level of charges against the accused was to wait for our annual
meeting to review the matter or hold a special meeting of the Board of Directors. At that
meeting it could then be determined if NYSPEC has any jurisdiction or authority over
the issues raised. If it does, the Board of Directors would select an impartial committee
and offer both parties an opportunity to make their case and present their evidence.

Rather than assure due process rights to CWA District 1 and CWA Local 1180, Peter
Meringolo moved deliberately without any regard to the Bylaws or authority from the
Board of Directors to violate the due process rights of CWA District 1 and CWA Local
1180, both certified labor unions and members of the Board of Directors by entangling
NYSPEC in a legal organizing drive permissible under the NYS Collective Bargaining
Law.
Peter Meringolo manipulated the actions of the Board of Directors to favor his client,
Cheryl Felice, so he could continue to receive payments for his services from her
thereby placing his own self interest above that of NYSPEC. He acted boldly to give her
something to mail out to her members during those critical months showing that
NYSPEC sided with her in her campaign to fight decertification. Despite the unethical
efforts of Felice and her lobbyists Meringolo and Delirod They were unsuccessful.
Over thirty percent of her members signed up with CWA, more than 2,000 members are
hardly a few disgruntled losers. PERB will now hold hearing and arrange for an election
so the members can get their union back.

In sum, Peter Meringolo conspired with Cheryl Felice and Randi Delirod and abused his
power, manipulated the Board of Directors with false statements and omissions that did
not afford all concerned parties an opportunity to be heard and violated the trust of the
members of NYSPEC in his e-mail of July 26, 2009 to the Board of Directors he stated:
     he was authorized to render support to SCAME yet nothing in the minutes
       indicated anything more than authorizing the gathering of information by
       Mannion.
     he was authorized at the meeting of June 17, 2009 to send a letter of displeasure
       on PEC letterhead. According to the minutes of the meeting of June 17, 2009
       Peter Meringolo was not.
     Peter Meringolo omitted writing that his firm the Meringolo Group was paid by
       SCAME as a lobbyist and has received well over $50,000 from SCAME
       authorized by Cheryl Felice according to New York State Lobbying Commission
       records.
     Peter Meringolo omitted informing the members of NYSPEC that Randi Delirod
       was hired by the Meringolo Group as a lobbyist and that SCAME was the third
       party according to New York State Lobbying Commission records.

These specific actions and omissions clearly indicate that he used his position of
chairman to protect his client and patron Cheryl Felice for his own personal gain and in
so doing damaged the reputation of NYSPEC as an organization whose position on any
issue now appears to be for sale. Every member of NYSPEC and the public at large
must now doubt any action Peter Meringolo takes on behalf of NYSPEC since its good
name may be seen by some as nothing more than a subsidiary of the Meringolo Group
Inc.

Furthermore, he used his position of trust to attack the reputation of brother unions,
CWA District 1 and CWA Local 1180 by describing their actions as unethical. Though
his behavior clearly indicates he has a warped perception of what is ethical. He ignored
the claims made in the e-mail sent to him on July 28, 2009 by me objecting to NYSPEC
taking any action and describing the reasons for CWA District 1’s exceptional action and
CWA Local 1180’s peripheral involvement.

The e-mail with highlighting added objecting to this action follows:
       From: Cheliotes, Arthur
       To: admin@nyspec.com;
       cc: nysoa1@yahoo.com;
      Subject: RE: [PROBABLY SPAM] Raid on a PEC union
      Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8:32:00 PM
      July 28, 2009
      Peter Meringolo, Chairman
      NYSPEC
      Dear Peter,
      I object to NYSPEC taking a position on the Suffolk County AME matter. At the
      meeting where this issue was not on the agenda only one side of the story was
      presented. (THE E-MAIL MEETING REMINDER THAT FOLLOWS REFERS TO
      THE MEETING AS THE “THIRD LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR’S MEETING” NOT A
      PRESIDENT’S MEETING) I have been silent until now since my Local was not
      directly involved even though we were wrongly accused of being the perpetrator
      of a raid. We are proud of the Communications Workers of America and reports I
      have received from our regional leadership paints a totally different picture of
      what is going on in Suffolk County.
      Based on my 30 years in CWA as President of Local 1180 I know that CWA
      would not take sides inside another union’s affairs. However, it was explained to
      me that in the case of AME members in Suffolk County, CWA was overwhelmed
      by pleas of assistance. Hundreds of AME members approached CWA to explain
      how they as union members were systematically being denied the very basic
      principles of union democracy. Here are some examples:

              •AME leadership negotiated an agreement on Lag Pay with the
              County and members were promised that they would have a
              vote to accept or reject. The leaders of AME decided to accept
              the agreement and deny the members their right to vote.
              •AME leadership negotiated concessions on retiree health
              benefits,
              •AME leadership negotiated concessions changing from a PPO
              to a POS Health Plan.

      These concessions were signed without membership involvement and without
      any ratification by the membership. The membership is repeatedly being denied
      the right to vote, and AME leadership is punishing dissidents within their ranks.
      CWA has examples of AME officers writing emails to the employer to try
      and punish members who question AME leadership.

      The CWA has no interest in organizing those that have a union. But in this
      instance, CWA felt that AME members have been lied to, have been harassed,
      and have had their right to union democracy diminished to such a degree, that
      CWA could not ignore the rank and file who came to CWA for help in rebuilding
      their union.

      I therefore respectfully request that NYSPEC not take a position on this matter.
      In Unity,
      Arthur

      Arthur Cheliotes, President, Local 1180
      Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO
      6 Harrison Street, New York, NY 10013
      Phone - 212 226-6565 Facsimile 212 966-6831
      acheliotes@cwa1180.org

The meeting notice from Meringolo read as follows with highlights added.
      From: admin@nyspec.com [mailto:admin@nyspec.com]
      Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:42 AM
      To: Cheliotes, Arthur
      Subject: Tomorrow's meeting
      PEC Presidents and Legislative Directors:
      Just as a reminder, although you should all have it on your calendars already, tomorrow is our
      third legislative director's meeting in Albany at the University Club. Lunch is at 12 noon,
      followed by a very important meeting. We obviously have quite a bit of urgent material to discuss,
      so please do your best to be in attendance.
      For your information, I have attached a PDF of an ad that PEC is running in this week's Chief
      newspaper.
      If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing you all
      tomorrow.
      Sincerely,
      Peter D. Meringolo, Chairman
Meringolo’s response to my e-mail follows with highlights and comments indicated:

      From: admin@nyspec.com [mailto:admin@nyspec.com]
      Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:16 PM
      To: Cheliotes, Arthur
      Subject: [PROBABLY SPAM] Response to your opposition
      Importance: Low
      Arthur,

      I have read your objection to PEC taking a position on the Suffolk County AME matter
      and your position has been dully (sic) noted. However at this time you are the only
      member that has objected and one opposition (yours) would not prevent this letter from
      going out. PEC will take a position on this matter because I was directed to do so at the
      June 17th meeting in Albany. (NOT TRUE) You are right the issue was not on the
      agenda. However at all meetings of NYSPEC the members always have the right to bring
      up any issues they feel are pertinent. Once it was brought up it became a topic of
      discussion and all that were present at the meeting openly stated they had a problem
      with one union raiding another. (THE MINUTES OF JUNE 17, 2009 READ THAT JOE
      MANNION WAS TO GATHER THE FACTS AND NO ONE WAS AUTHORIZED TO
      SEND A LETTER FROM NYSPEC TO ANYONE)
      You and Cheryl Felice, President of AME will both have the opportunity to discuss face to
      face your issues and position, at the meeting of August 5, 2009 that was arranged by
      Joseph Mannion, Treasury of PEC. (GATHER THE FACTS AFTER YOU HAVE TAKEN
      AN ACTION – WHAT WOULD WE DO IF THE BOSS TRIED THIS SCAM ON
      MEMBERS?)

      The letter will go out according to schedule. I will note in the body of the letter that one of
      our members were (sic) opposed to the letter being sent. I will indicate by name that it
      was you as President of your Union.
      In Unity,

      Peter D. Meringolo, Chairman


The response is very telling without actually sitting down with both sides before sending
out the letter objecting to CWA’s efforts and giving all parties a chance to sort out the
facts and explain their positions. It was as if the defendant was first executed and then
the investigation and trial followed. Meringolo’s letter objecting to CWA’s efforts was
initiated on July 29, 2009 when he wrote: ‘The letter will go out according to schedule.’
That was prior to an alleged objective review of the facts at a meeting to be held August
5, 2009 by the Treasurer of NYSPEC. Peter Meringolo’s attendance at the investigative
meeting following his stated intent to send the letter predetermined the outcome of the
investigation and assured it would be nothing more than a rump session. What Felice
and her lobbyist Delirod and Meringolo attempted to do was intimidate and harass me
into saying something anything negative about CWA that they could us to fight the very
successful card signing campaign CWA was engaged in. They wanted me to say that
the decertification was a “rape” of a sister union. Try as they might I would not do so
and this frustrated them greatly. He used the meeting as an opportunity to impress his
client and influence the Treasurer’s report.
At the time of the June 17, 2009 meeting Meringolo knew or should have known that
Cheryl Felice was re-elected with less than a majority of the votes cast for president.
On April 20, 2009 Cheryl Felice did not receive a majority of votes cast by the members.
She received 1872 votes and her 4 opponents got 2358 votes. Her closest opponent got
over 1,500 votes. The results are posted on the SCAME website if you wish to check.
She was still declared the winner because her Bylaws are rigged to keep her in office
with just a plurality. Under the CWA Constitution you must receive a majority of the
votes cast to secure a top officer position or there must be a run-off election between
the top 2 candidates.

That on May 7, 2009 the Judicial Board of SCAME reviewed charges of election
irregularities and ruled that a new election be held. Again Cheryl Felice with her rigged
Bylaws had her re-elected board vote to overturn the Judicial Board’s decision. Now the
matter is going to NY State Supreme Court for a trial.

This outrageous undemocratic behavior is now infecting NYSPEC, if it is allowed to
fester I fear for the future of NYSPEC. If we do not correct this unethical abuse of power
our reputation will be hurt beyond repair. It would have been easy to just stop paying
my dues and stop attending but I care too much for what NYSPEC is and the work it
does. The fundamental purpose of NYSPEC has changed. NYSPEC focused on a
legislative agenda and every member with the power to veto was an equal. It now
appears that if you have not retained the Meringolo Group to lobby for you can’t be sure
of what the chairman is doing for the members we all serve.

Those are the facts as I know them I have more documents to back my claims if you
wish to see them.

Respectfully submitted,

Arthur Cheliotes, Trustee
New York State Public Employees Conference.

The minutes of the September 17, 2009 meeting is attached for you to review the
relevant section is on the last page.

								
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