It was a formality for Reda Overton, but it was a source of relief for the rail workers that her union represented. On May 20, Overton, formerly executive secretary for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), General Committee of Adjustment 4-175, a Teamsters affiliate, pleaded guilty in Knoxville federal court to embezzling more than $200,000 from a Tennessee office of the Cynthiana, Ky.-based union over a more than three-year period. Overton in mid-February had agreed to plead guilty after being charged on January 22 following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. She faces up to five years in prison and a term of supervised release of up to three years.
As Union Corruption Update had reported in February, Overton, over the period December 2008-March 2012, repeatedly diverted funds from an East Tennessee office of BLET General Committee of Adjustment 4-175 to a personal bank account. The union, which represents employees of Norfolk Southern Railway, eventually reported the cash shortfall to the Labor Department. She left her union job in June 2012. Her total theft was $206,056. Her motive: to boost her self-esteem. Hopefully, she will seek therapy of a more conventional sort.