A lawyer who embezzled about $184,000 from the state Thruway workers’ union was sentenced today to up to eight years in prison, with his lawyer portraying him as a man desperate to support his family, including an autistic son.
Kevin Clor apologized to the state and the union, saying they “deserved better than what I gave them.”
“I accept full responsibility for everything I did,” he said. “...I can do nothing from this point forward except trying to live my life to make up for the incredible mistakes I made.”
Clor, 40, pleaded guilty in June to grand larceny and other charges, admitting that he got reimbursed for legal training classes he never took and reference books he never bought. He’ll have to serve at least 32 months in prison and repay more than $161,000.
The Manhattan-based union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 72, represents more than 2,500 Thruway Authority toll collectors, grounds workers, janitors, painters and carpenters. Working from his home office in Buffalo, Clor was the union’s chief lawyer for a decade until April 2011, prosecutors said.
Clor “meticulously created invoice after invoice, submitted each one, and cashed each check until he ran the union almost dry,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jose Fanjul said.
Clor’s lawyer, Jeremy Saland, pressed for Clor to get probation. Clor has health problems that require surgery, his mother is dying, and thousands of dollars of the stolen money went to treatment for his autistic son, Saland said.
“This isn’t for a Ferrari. This isn’t for jewelry” or any luxury, Saland said. “...This is to provide for a man and his family who may have gotten beyond his means.”
But union president Martin A. Latko blasted Clor as a “cold, calculating thief” who betrayed union members and then tried to shove off responsibility.
“Whose fault is it this week, Kevin? You blamed your mother, your father, your autistic son and even me. How about yourself?” Latko said.
Beyond the theft, the union also is out money it spent on an audit related to the fraud, Latko said.