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Ex-Detroit union leader gets prison for stealing $300,000

Ed White
Associated Press
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Detroit — A labor leader who liked to gamble at a Detroit casino has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for embezzling $300,000 from his union.

Authorities say Mervin Hawk actually stole $630,000 from AFSCME Local 1640, but he returned a portion before the scheme was discovered.

The 59-year-old Hawk appeared in federal court Thursday, apologizing and acknowledging that he “let a lot of folks down.” Both sides acknowledge he had a gambling problem.

Hawk was president of Local 1640 from 2013 through 2015. AFSCME stands for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Hawk’s attorney asked for home detention. Natasha Webster doubts the federal prison system can handle Hawk’s diabetes-related health problems. But Judge Gershwin Drain said the Bureau of Prisons is capable