Ex-Indiana Boss Sentenced for Theft; Repaid $52,000

U.S. Dist. Judge William C. Lee sentenced Stephen Confer, ex-head of the Ft. Wayne Edu. Ass’n to five months in a halfway house and five months on home detention for embezzling from the union. He was fined $3,000.

A federal grand jury returned a 20-count indictment against Confer in Apr. 1999. It alleged that while he was treasurer of the Ind. State Teachers Ass’n-Professional Staff Org., he wrote checks to himself totaling more than $37,000 between Aug. 1994 and Oct. 1996. Reportedly, the checks were written to various people and companies, including hotels and attorneys, but were issued to Confer.

Confer repaid over $52,000 to the union as part of a settlement. Although he pled guilty to only one count, the plea agreement said he acknowledges embezzling the money listed in the indictment. He faced between 10 and 16 months in federal prison. Defense atty. Quinton Ellis argued for a low sentence, noting that Confer settled before criminal charges were brought. Ass’t U.S. Atty. David Miller said, however, that a settlement was only reached after the union confronted Confer.

Confer was a FWEA director from 1994-96 and was PSO treasurer from 1991-96. He left Ind. to take a similar post with the Clark County Classroom Teachers Ass’n in Las Vegas. He resigned in Jan. 1998 after media reports of the embezzlement. [J.-Gazette (Fort Wayne) 3/4/00]