For more than two and a half years Deidra Lucas couldn’t stay out of her organization’s cookie jar. Her main challenge now will be to stay out of prison. Lucas, formerly president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 100 in Pontiac, Mich., was indicted a month and a half ago by a Detroit federal grand jury on four counts of embezzling nearly $40,000 in union funds. The local represented workers at the former (city-owned) North Oakland Medical Center, since 2008 having operated as Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan, a privately-owned entity.
According to federal prosecutors, Lucas, 42, during the period December 21, 2004-July 17, 2007 fraudulently obtained $38,803.72 from the local. At various points, she allegedly made unauthorized cash withdrawals, and falsely claimed reimbursements, stipends and lost time payments. The announcement of the indictment by interim U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg on December 15 follows an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.