It may have been a formality, but it was a relief to get out of the way. Last Wednesday, October 2, Lisa Barrett, former president of the Wyoming Area School District Teachers Union, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to embezzling over $30,000 in funds from the Exeter, Pa. (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area) union over a six-year period. Union Corruption Update had noted the day before that Barrett had expressed her intent to plead guilty upon being charged on September 24. Barrett and prosecutors did not reach an agreement as to sentencing, set for January.
Federal prosecutors had alleged that Barrett, 48, a resident of Shavertown, Pa., used her union credit card during April 2006-April 2012 to make personal purchases. Upon being charged, Barrett waived her right to a grand jury hearing and announced her intent to plead guilty. The Wyoming Area School District Teachers Union is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which in turn is an affiliate of the National Education Association.