Powerful, politically connected labor union leader Norman Seabrook, voted out as union head by executive board of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, Thursday morning
21 year leadership of COBA comes to an adrupt end
A day earlier , Seabrook, 56, was hit with corruption charges, regarding chanelling $20million of union’s pension fund to a hedge fund in exchange for kickbacks
Elias Husamudeen, the union’s first vice president, was moved up to president
Elias Husamudeen, steps up as new president of COBA
Norman Seabrook, 21 year tenure as head of COBA comes to an end. Voted out by board on the heels of allegations of fraud
The executive board of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, Thursday morning, voted to sack union head Norman Seabrook, 56, who was criminally charged Wednesday with steering $20 million in union pension money to a hedge fund in return for cash kickbacks and luxe trips. Elias Husamudeen, the union’s first vice president, was moved up to president, in accordance with the union’s bylaws.
The charges filed yesterday by the US Distict Attorney against Norman Seabrook, then president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association COBA who was arrested at his Bronx home on Wednesday include steering $20 million in union pension money to a hedge fund in return for cash kickbacks and luxe trips, all charges that have been tracked nad accomplices charged and arrested, as well.
Arrested and charged, fianancier Murray Huberfeld, partner in the illegal transfer of COBA pension funds to his hedge fund, Platinum Investments
One kickback of $60,000 was paid to Seabrook in cash inside of an $800 Ferragamo bag — and an “angry” Seabrook complained it wasn’t enough money, court papers say.
The removal ends Seabrook’s 21 years at the top of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association. The labor leader has long played a key role in practically every decision made by jail bosses.
The news was hailed by union rival William Valentin, who earlier filed the law suits for wrongful dismissal, which inturn led to the federal probe and subsequent arrests
“Norman Seabrook has been a steady drain on the union for many years now,” he said. “He has stopped promoting correction officers, and switched to promoting himself.”
Valentin sued the union after he was kicked off the board in part for asking questions about the money invested into the Platinum Partners, the firm now at the center of the criminal case.
The bag man, New York real estate developer Jona Rechnitz, admitted middleman, suspected of turning state witness
The union board’s move is expected to be formally announced later at an emergency delegates meeting.
The news was first reported by NY1.
Seabrook was suspended by the Correction Department hours after the criminal charges were announced.
He has maintained his innocence, stressing the case against him is merely an “allegation.”
Still, the feds say one kickback of $60,000 was paid to Seabrook in cash inside of an $800 Ferragamo bag — and an “angry” Seabrook complained that wasn’t enough, court papers say.
Sources said the moneyman who delivered the payoff was Jona Rechnitz, a Brooklyn real estate investor who raised and donated big bucks for de Blasio’s mayoral run and his now defunct Campaign for One New York.