Jesse Morgan used to head a union that represented county jail employees. Now he’s set to become a federal prison inmate. On May 11, Morgan, formerly president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1707 in Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to 21 months in prison for defrauding the union, which represents employees of the Jackson County Detention Center. He had pleaded guilty in October 2014 after being indicted that February. The actions follow a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Morgan, now 39, headed the local during 2008-12. Unfortunately, he spent much of that time stealing from it. Federal prosecutors had alleged that he used union funds to pay for personal expenses via unauthorized wire transfers, checks, ATM withdrawals and counter withdrawals. An internal audit uncovered more than $185,000 in missing money. A subsequent Labor Department investigation led to a 29-count grand jury indictment. Morgan wound up pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud. As part of his sentencing, he also will have to repay the local more than $138,000.