A heated contest for control of the city's largest union ended this week with president Herman "Pete" Matthews maintaining his leadership post.

Matthews defeated challenger Evon Sutton by a 313-vote margin in the election to lead District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. With 9,400 members, the union represents sanitation workers, correctional officers, and other blue-collar workers.

Sutton, business agent for Local 488, which represents city health workers, has challenged Matthews three times.

This year's battle was held after alleged election violations in the race between Matthews and Sutton in May. Matthews, who won, 2,755 to 2,442, will serve a term that lasts through May 2012.       - Marcia Gelbart