The head of Long Island City-based Petrocelli Electric Company was indicted on corruption charges in Manhattan federal court last Thursday for allegedly giving payouts to a “representative” of a union represented at the time by disgraced former Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, according to court papers.
The indictment alleges that Santo Petrocelli, the chief operating officer of Petrocelli Electric Company since 1993, illegally gave repeated cash payments and the lease on a new Crown Victoria to “a representative” of Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers between 2004 and 2006. Petrocelli, whose business is based at 22-09 Queens Plaza North, was charged with conspiracy and making unlawful payments to a union representative, a violation of federal labor law.
At the time the alleged actions took place, McLaughlin, who was also an assemblyman for District 25 in Queens, worked as an unpaid representative for Local 3 — a union that continued to employ him as an active member as recently as last year. The indictment alleges that the unnamed representative regularly took illegal payouts from Petrocelli, whose employees were represented by Local 3.
In March 2008, McLaughlin pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of making false statements on a loan application — charges that would normally land him between eight and 10 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. By pleading guilty, McLaughlin admitted to a litany of crimes that painted a picture both of greed and betrayal during his years as an influential Flushing Democrat and a powerful labor leader.
Since his guilty plea, however, McLaughlin’s sentencing has been pushed back repeatedly and sources have told the TimesLedger that he cooperated with federal authorities in an investigation into former colleague and current Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D-Richmond Hill). Seminerio was indicted on corruption charges in September and McLaughlin’s sentencing, at the time scheduled for Sept. 12, was adjourned just days before.
After being pushed back again in January, McLaughlin was scheduled to be sentenced Monday. But on March 27, less than a week before Petrocelli’s indictment, the sentencing was once again adjourned by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan until May 14. No formal reason for the adjournment was listed.
There is currently no scheduled date for Petrocelli to appear in court.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at SStirling@
©2009 Community News Group
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