AFSCME Treasurer in Northern California Sentenced for $500K Ripoff

Susan Kyle paid herself on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, union members were involuntarily subsidizing her. On February 4, Kyle, former treasurer of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2428, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to two years in prison, plus three years of supervised release, for embezzling nearly $500,000 in funds over a six-year period from the Oakland-based union, which represents employees of East Bay Regional Parks. She had pleaded guilty last October to embezzlement and concealment; as part of the plea agreement, she will pay full restitution. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

According to prosecutors, Kyle, now 61, a resident of Citrus Heights (Sacramento County), Calif., used her position as local treasurer to “issue unauthorized payments to herself on a weekly basis” during 2008-14. She would verbally authorize the union payroll processing company to issue payments for payroll expenses, which included the unauthorized payments. She then “prepared reports that did not reflect the true expenditures” in order to conceal her thefts. The grand total of embezzlement was at least $490,338. At her sentencing hearing, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. said that her crime had a “devastating effect” on the union. Members are likely to agree.