Dianna Rushing had a secret compulsion – and it proved even more costly to her than to her union. On July 24, Rushing was sentenced in federal court to six months home confinement and two years probation, and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine for embezzling $10,452 from the union she once headed, Local Executive Council 8 of the Association of Flight Attendants. Having pled guilty earlier this year, she voluntarily has been making restitution to the union, which represents United Airlines employees at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Rushing, 55, had a compulsive gambling problem, something she readily admitted at sentencing. She used her union debit card to cover gambling losses, making 26 separate ATM cash withdrawals during the period July 11, 2003-January 7, 2004 at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill. Following her resignation from the AFA and United Airlines, Rushing since has sought professional counseling and attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings. (Chicago Sun Times, 7/24, 7/25/06).