Ex-Employee of Maine Union Sentenced for Embezzlement

Catherine Crosier didn’t set a good example to students.  She got a stern reminder of that at her sentencing hearing in federal court.  Crosier, a former employee of the 25,000-member Maine Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, was sentenced on May 7 to six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Crosier, 46, a resident of Augusta, pled guilty last November to one count of embezzling more than $45,000 in union funds during June 2002-January 2004.  She had made out about 180 union checks either to herself or petty cash.

“What troubles me the most is the nature of the employer you stole from,” U.S. District Judge John Woodcock told the defendant.  “It was as if you walked into a classroom, marched up to a teacher and grabbed the teacher’s pocket or pocketbook and took money out of it.   Then, you went to the next classroom and the next classroom and did the same thing.” In addition to serving time, Crosier will have to pay restitution.  The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.  (Associated Press, 5/8/07; OLMS, 5/30/07).