Edna Latimore is a familiar story: a union official stealing from the till to pay off gambling losses. On October 30, Latimore, formerly secretary-treasurer of Local 900 of the American Federation of Government Employees, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to six months home detention and three years probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $77,857.26. She had been charged in August with making false statements in the St. Louis union’s annual financial reporting form in order to disguise payments she had made to herself.
Latimore, 41, a resident of Ferguson, Mo., served as the local treasurer from January 2006 until April 2007. She pleaded guilty in August to making scores of unauthorized withdrawals with her union ATM card, mainly at area casinos, and then hiding the losses by understating amounts on Labor Department reporting forms. When the losses grew noticeable, the union leadership requested an audit, which in turn revealed the illegal transfers. Latimore admitted to her misconduct, and since has repaid $7,000, which is less than a tenth of what she stole. The sentencing follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. (St. Louis Business Journal, 8/7/08; OLMS, 11/21/08).