Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Prison for Embezzlement - Update
sentenced to one year in federal prison for embezzling more than $59,000 from her union.
Barrett, 48, illegally used a union debit/credit card on various illegitimate purchases over six years to improve her "personal lifestyle," U.S. District Judge James M. Munley said, releasing new details on the embezzlement charges.Barrett responded to the verdict by screaming and sobbing and calling out to God for help.
"I am sorry. You have to pay the consequences," Munley told Barrett, who must surrender to federal authorities by March 5.
Munley said he was "concerned about sending the right message" to anyone entrusted with access to public funds or funds for community and employee organizations.
Pennsylvania Teacher Faces Embezzlement Charge
[Previous 10/3/13 post]
A former teachers union president who was charged this week with embezzling more than $30,000 in union funds over six years "will make full restitution," her attorney said.
Lisa Barrett, 48, resigned as president of the Wyoming Area School District teachers union in February amid an investigation into misuse of union funds. The Shavertown woman will plead guilty to "embezzlement and theft of labor union assets" between April 2006 and April 2012, according to federal court documents.
Attorney Christopher T. Powell Jr. said Barrett "has agreed to accept full responsibility for her actions."
Federal court documents don't outline specific allegations of what crimes Barrett committed, but school officials previously said they were investigating misuse of a union credit card.
Citing "personal and medical reasons," Barrett took leave from her career technology teaching position at the district's Secondary Center at the same time she resigned her union post. The school board accepted Barrett's resignation as a district teacher at its Aug. 20 meeting.
Barrett and federal investigators did not reach an agreement on a sentence, according to court records. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, the plea agreement says. A formal guilty plea hearing will be scheduled at a later date.