John M. Cornwell pled guilty Apr. 29 to one count of union embezzlement and agreed to pay restitution of $52,009.33. Cornwell was financial secretary-treasurer for Sheet Metal Workers Int’l Ass’n Local 479 in Peoria, Ill., from Jan. 1998 to Feb. 2001. During the plea hearing in open court, he admitted to converting more than $50,000 in local funds to his personal use from Dec. 18, 1998 to Jan. 20, 2001.
Cornwell confessed that he wrote and negotiated some 62 unauthorized Local 479 checks to himself and to his wife. He signed both his name and Local 479 president Sharon Ball’s name to the checks without Ball’s knowledge or permission. The U.S. Atty’s Office for the Cent. Dist. of Ill. told the UCU that Cornwell spent the funds on routine living expenses. U.S. Dist. Judge Joe B. McDade (C.D. Ill., G.H.W. Bush) scheduled sentencing for Aug. 23. Cornwell currently a resident of Lenoir City, Tenn. [USAO C.D. Ill. 4/30/02; DOL 4/29/02]