Barbara Bullock, the imprisoned former president of the Washington Teachers Union, sought leniency for helping federal prosecutors to convict two top former colleagues. And on January 23, she received it. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon reduced Miss Bullock’s nine-year prison sentence by more than two years for having helped prosecutors secure the convictions in 2005 of ex-union treasurer James O. Baxter II and office manager Gwendolyn M. Hemphill. Bullock, said prosecutors, provided key leads and court testimony.
Bullock pled guilty in late 2003 to masterminding at least $4.6 million in thefts from the union during 1995-2002. She made more headlines with how she spent the money than how she got it, indulging herself, among other things, on $500,000 on custom-made clothing and $100,000 on Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards season tickets. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Alexis said that without Bullock’s help, investigators would not likely have known about the “vast number” of furs purchased with union dues. “Her testimony was useful, and we believe it was powerful,” he said. Bullock, 68, and a former teacher herself, has been residing in Alderson, W.V. federal prison for the last three years. She says she has turned her life around, and helping inmates to read. When released, Bullock will have to serve six months home detention, complete 1,000 hours of community service and pay more than $4 million in restitution to the union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. (Washington Times, 1/24/07).