The message purports to be from three law enforcement unions representing Deputy Sheriffs, Deputy Probation Officers and Firefighters, and urges DDAs to "stay with AFSCME."
|Probation Officer's Union President Ralph Miller did not authorize the use of his signature|
to this letter.
The Dragnet previously speculated that the letter was likely the work of AFSCME's Cheryl Parisi, "she may well have dictated, printed and mailed it for them." we said. Confirmation of our suspicions came in the form of a comment from ADDA President Marc Debbaudt suggesting that the digital signature of Ralph Miller, President of the Probation Officers Union had been affixed to the letter "without his [Miller's] permission or authorization."
Debbaudt points out that under "union rules" individual unions are not allowed to criticize other unions, and they must "come to their aid or be sanctioned." In other words, if Miller has been presented with the letter he would have had to sign it or face sanctions. But according to Debbaudt, Miller was never even asked.
Miller has been an outspoken critic of AFSCME, according to DDA Steve Dickman's open letter to DDAs urging them to disaffiliate, Dickman says "I attended an ADDA meeting in which the President of the Probation Officers Union (that is stuck in AFSCME and can’t get out of it) spoke. They affiliated with AFSCME yet he was deeply critical of them saying AFSCME had not provided the promised services or support. He warned us not to affiliate with them." Dickman said. It is therefore possible that Miller would have chosen to decline to sign the letter and face "sanctions," perhaps even challenge the validity of those sanctions on first amendment grounds.
Whether AFSCME's unauthorized use of Miller's signature constitutes the crime of Forgery was a question raised by a later comment.
The answer likely depends on whether AFSCME's unauthorized use of Miller's signature was done with the "intent to defraud." If indeed, a referral for investigation is made, that will be the key issue. [Those wishing to offer opinions on whether the necessary intent can be established are cautioned to refrain from doing so, due the potential conflict of interest previously discussed.]
If ever better proof was needed that AFSCME is a bad fit for DDAs, this must surely be it.