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No due process for DC 37 retirees



To the editor: 

The administratorship that AFSCME President Lee Saunders imposed on the District Council 37 Retirees Association is not merited and should be lifted immediately. No financial emergency

existed or exists.

Procedural failures before and during the hearing by the AFSCME Judicial Panel on

March 14 would seem to require a new hearing, at the very least.

Ann Widger, the administrator, emailed a letter on February 22 informing the membership

that Saunders had placed the RA under “emergency administratorship.” The “emergency” was that several important forms required by the IRS were not filed.

Ms. Widger’s letter continues, “there is no evidence of any individual financial wrongdoing.” The $3 million or so amassed by the RA treasury during the pandemic is accounted for and in the bank.

What then is the “emergency”? As funds were not in jeopardy, hiring an accounting firm to file the delinquent forms, as AFSCME has done since seizing control, does not require an administrator.

The administrator failed to give notice to the members of the association of the judicial

panel’s hearing. That would seem to be an ordinary procedure. She emailed the membership announcing the administratorship. The technical ability is there. As a former treasurer of the RA, I would have wanted to testify instead of being compelled to submit a written statement after it was over.

Secondly, since I wasn’t invited, I’ve been told that Ms. Widger testified for about an hour, questioned by an AFSCME lawyer. No cross examination was allowed and the removed executive board was not allowed representation.

AFSCME must lift the receivership. It could hold a new hearing with at least a fig leaf of

due process.

“Sentence first — verdict afterwards.” Out of “Alice in Wonderland,” The Queen of Hearts

may have nailed it!

Bob Pfefferman

The writer is a former treasurer of the Retirees Association of DC 37


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