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A panel has accused the former president of a union chapter representing 22,000 cafeteria aides and crossing guards of embezzling $1.7 million.

The judicial panel, appointed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Charles Hughes had the union pay $100,000 to 13 people in Georgia who were not employed by the local.

Hughes, the president of the chapter for nearly 30 years until he resigned in June, used $329,000 to pay off his family's credit card bills, the panel found.

Hughes also is accused of receiving $685,000 for overtime he never worked.

Officials at District Council 37, the umbrella group that includes Hughes's members, said the Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating.

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