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A former official with a local transportation union was sentenced Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to three years of probation for embezzling $39,000 in union funds.

Joseph Grygorcewicz, 63, of Amherst, former secretary-treasurer of Local 1566, United Transportation Union, admitted stealing the money between late 2009 and early 2011.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. said Grygorcewicz had check-writing authorization – the union required two signatures on every check – and used it to cash checks with his signature and the forged signature of the union president.

Local 1566 represents local railroad workers.