Well, this is a first: A major update before the article is ready to publish…
A source informs me that union President Pat Santeramo is set to resign his post on Monday as the investigation heats up.
More when the information is available.
Meanwhile here’s the original headline…
TWENTY SIX EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS PLUS SIX ON THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND NOBODY HAD A CLUE???
Something just isn’t right here, and for all that’s been going on, I suspect there’s a lot more to this story that just hasn’t come out as of yet.
We’re already looking at campaign law violation, coercion, undocumented credit card expenses to the tune of more than $100k, overpayments of tens of thousands to more than one individual, $3.8 million “evaporated” from reserves, BTU checks made out to cash, etc.
And only one single individual is responsible?
Can you seriously tell me that union VP Bernie Schultz and others didn’t know they were being overpaid?
Can you possibly believe that the Secretary-Treasurer never sounded an alarm to halt the bleeding of $3.8 million in reserves?
Can you even remotely believe that the Treasurer or even the Comptroller never demanded receipts for the undocumented $128k in credit card expenses?
Undocumented? I hardly think so.
Anybody who’s ever used a credit card gets the dreaded credit card statement in the mail a month later.
The documentation’s there, alright. Or it can be obtained from the bank that issued the card.
And then the where, when and how much will be known. Only the why will be missing.
It took an external audit to uncover all of this?
The same source tells me that people knew but kept their mouths shut…
The Treasurer and the Comptroller have a great deal of explaining to do, and copies of the records should be made available to the membership.
It’s their money.
Somehow I find it almost impossible to believe that Santeramo operated in a vacuum.
According to the Sun Sentinel, there are currently 11,500 BTU members.
That contrasts with the 17,000 members boasted by Santeramo when I was a Board member.
That’s down by almost one third, despite the fact that there are more teachers today than there were back then.
Layoffs and retirements aside, neither can come close to accounting for the major drop in membership.
But at $600 per year, it works out to $6.9 million in revenue.
Considering the most recent events BTU may be on the verge of a membership revolt.
And I suspect more than one person will be led out in handcuffs in the next few weeks.
Maybe some of my fellow ex-Board members can send holiday cards to BTU Executives with the FBI phone numbers printed in large letters.
And just maybe, the membership can do it, too.