Jeanette McFarland is the third official of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Local 285 to be sentenced for theft from the Fort Wayne, Indiana union. Rank and file members are hoping she’s the last. On December 1, McFarland was sentenced in federal court to time served and three years of supervised probation for embezzling $7,604 from her union, which represents workers at Fort Wayne Foundry. She also will have to pay restitution. McFarland had admitted her guilt in a plea agreement in September.
McFarland had worked in concert with another Local 285 official, Frederick Jones. According to Glass Workers international representative Randy Gould, McFarland and Jones sought to set up a dental plan for the union but their idea was vetoed. They set up an account anyway and proceeded to make withdrawals from it. Jones this past year was sentenced to one year’s probation for stealing more than $10,000 of the union’s money during July-December 2004, while McFarland embezzled her sum during June 2004-May 2005. Much of that money has been recovered through bonding and insurance. In 2004, another ex-local official, Michael Updike, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay more than $9,000 in restitution to the union and an insurance company after admitting he embezzled. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 12/3/08).