To be clear, there is no way the union could have known this was coming down the pike. There have been some complaints on the local newspaper website that they are implying that union workers or state workers are now to be linked to child sex charges. This simply isn’t the case. The news is in the tragic irony behind a man profiled as the ideal government worker now being charged with a dark side. It’d be the same as having a politician who was once named Citizen of the Year being charged with a crime.
In an article in the Public Employees Federation (PEF) magazine, the Communicator, Craig Walek was profiled in an article titled, Union Man Represents True Picture of Working Life.
Via the Times Union:
Seeking to combat “a bad rap in the media, which has portrayed union members as overpaid, with too many benefits, and greedy,” the November issue of PEF’s Communicator magazine profiled Craig Walek, a DOT traffic engineer from Buffalo.
The Communicator is the union’s official outlet, and is controlled by new PEF President Susan Kent. The article noted her administration was “spotlighting PEF members who belie the media claims” and quoted Walek bashing the 2011 contract negotiated by Ken Brynien, Kent’s predecessor.
“I had to get a second job,” Walek, a Kent supporter, said.
“This PEF member is diligent about his job,” Kent is quoted as saying in the article. “He is the opposite of how the press portrays state workers, and is the real deal. Craig is just one example among the thousands of PEF members who are responsible and hardworking.”
Now however, Walek doesn’t truly represent any state workers as the “real deal”, having a possible dark side revealed when he was charged with 44 counts of child molestation just one month after being profiled in the magazine.
Via the Buffalo News:
Armed with a court-ordered search warrant, deputies Thursday raided the Milton Lane home of Craig Walek, 49, and seized evidence linked to the manufacture and possession of child pornography, deputies said.
Walek was arraigned before Clarence Town Justice Michael B. Powers.
Walek, who faces grand jury action, was charged with 44 felony counts of use of a child in a sexual performance, second-degree criminal sexual act (sodomy), second-degree rape and possessing a sexual performance by a child.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard said Walek was engaged in “ongoing repeated sexual abuse” of the victim.
11 of the counts carry sentences up to 15 years each, so Walek faces serious prison time if convicted.