Ex Teachers Union Chief’s Payout Docked For Expenses
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Former Broward Teachers Union chief Pat Santeramo’s six figure pay out will be docked more than $56 thousand to pay personal charges he put on union credit cards and salary over payments.
Despite the deduction, Santeramo will walk away with nearly $175,000 in accrued sick leave and vacation time, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
Santeramo resigned from his position with the BTU and as the vice president of the American Federation of Teachers earlier this month after an investigation by the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Elections Commission over alleged illegal campaign contributions made with union money.
According to the audit, investigators found Santeramo’s union “credit card expenses over the two-year period examined (from 2009-2011) totaled $128,634. The majority of the charges are lacking backup documentation.”
Others at the union also had credit cards, like former bookkeeper Arlene Marotta. The report said between 2009-2011 she rang up more than $355,000 in credit card expenses. Investigators found that more than $96,000 of that total had no documentation or proof the expense was related to union business. The report says her credit card was destroyed.
Also detailed were expense accounts for union leaders. Santeramo received $600 per month for a car allowance, up to $250 per month for gas and until July 2011 received $300 a month for expenses.
Three others at the union received similar monthly expense and auto allowances.
The audit found there were no receipts for the use of Santeramo’s gas card.
All of this spending was occurring despite the union overestimating its’ dues by $1.2 million in 2010, according to the report. The report also says the union needed to take $3.8 million out of its reserves to cover expenses.
For 2011-2012, the union faces a deficit of $350,000.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)