Wayne Kruse, president of the Lawrence Education Association from 1999 until early this year, pleaded guilty in Douglas County (Kan.) District Court on September 6 to stealing nearly $100,000 from the union. The former sixth-grade teacher admitted to one count each of theft and forgery totaling more than $97,000. In return for the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a second forgery charge. Sentencing is set for October 3. The LEA is affiliated with the National Education Association. (Associated Press, 9/6).
NYC Fire Fighters Union Member Arrested in Bribe Attempt
Thomas DeParma, 54, was a retired veteran of the New York City Fire Department and a member of the Firefighters union. His son, Christopher, 28, wanted to follow in his footsteps. There was only was obstacle to passing the generational torch: His son had to pass a urine test. And DeParma the elder thought, mistakenly, that he could bribe his way out of it. Now he’s looking at up to seven years in jail, courtesy of the Brooklyn D.A.’s office.
DeParma, while running for local president earlier this year, was arrested on August 31 for trying to bribe employees at the Bendiner & Schlesinger laboratory. He initially offered $1,000, and when that didn’t work, $5,000, to lab workers if they got rid of a urine sample taken from his son which had tested positive for cocaine on May 8. City officials say that the younger DeParma had been arrested three times on various charges prior to being hired by the fire department in 2003. (New York Post, 9/1).