Ex-Employee of California’s Biggest Union Under Investigation

A frmr. employee of the California State Employees Assn. (CSEA) is under investigation by the Sacramento Police Dept. for reportedly embezzling nearly $1 million over 7 years.  In announcing their own internal inquiry, CSEA officials also admitted firing one other employee and demoting another, apparently for failing to detect the long-term theft.  “We are concerned about the lack of supervision,” said CSEA president Perry Kenny in a letter to the 140,000-member union.  Kenny said that the employee embezzled the funds between 1996 and this year before leaving her job.  The stolen funds reportedly came from the CSEA’s political action cmte. and the Association of California State Supervisors, an affiliated group.  Yet, the woman did not work specifically with either account.

Kenny said that the union would hire 2 independent auditors and seek reimbursement.  But his longtime political rival Jim Hard, CSEA’s civil service director, demanded that CSEA officials stay out of the investigation.  “President Kenny’s statement does nothing to explain exactly what happened, how this could have gone on for 7 years, who benefited, or who was asleep at the switch,” Hard said. [Sacramento Bee, 7/30/03]