By Joan Murray


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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Minutes after kissing his wife and telling a judge he had nothing more to say, Pat Santeramo shed his jacket and tie and was led away in handcuffs.

Now, the one-time head of the Broward Teachers Union is on his way to state prison.

Santeramo, 68, surrendered to Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson after he was found guilty in January of corruption charges.

Santeramo was accused of taking money from BTU employees to support political campaigns and then paying them back with teachers union dues.

He was also convicted of taking kickbacks from a contractor he hired to do work at BTU headquarters.

“Whether you are a commissioner or union chief and you violate the sacred trust, you are going to prison,” said prosecutor Dan Schulson.

In addition, Santeramo will have to spend 18 months in federal prison — after he completes his state sentence.

It was believed Santeramo would serve his federal sentence during his state term but a judge determined Friday that it would run afterwards.

Santeramo’s attorney said he accepts the federal judge’s ruling.

“We disagree with the sentence but Mr. Santeramo will serve his debt to society,” said attorney Ben Kuehne.

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