At least Kevin McKnight didn’t pretend to be innocent. McKnight, formerly secretary-treasurer of United Transportation Union Local 1390, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on November 17 with embezzling about $68,000 in funds from the Laurence Harbor, N.J. (Middlesex County) union, which represents road and yard workers for Norfolk Southern and Conrail. He then pleaded guilty and agreed to make full restitution. McKnight faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge and guilty plea follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
McKnight, 44, a resident of Jersey City, served as Local 1390 secretary-treasurer during January 2009-June 2010. During that period, alleged federal prosecutors, he wrote unauthorized checks to himself, cash and third parties from a union account with Wachovia Bank. He also used the local’s ATM card to make cash withdrawals for his own personal use. McKnight left his post after the Labor Department probe was complete. Sentencing is scheduled for February 28.