Teachers Union Secretary-Treasurer in Montana Charged with Embezzlement

Teachers deskSandy Hawkes had a problem with her bills. She may have created a far bigger problem by stealing from her union to pay them. On July 5, Hawkes, secretary-treasurer for the Somers Classified Education Association, was charged in Flathead County, Montana District Court with embezzling about $9,000 in union funds. She already had resigned from her regular job as a secretary at Lakeside Elementary School a month earlier. The charge follows an investigation by the sheriff’s office of fast-growing Flathead County, located in northwest Montana just south of the Canadian border. Hawkes pleaded not guilty on August 1. Given the evidence, one has to wonder why.

This spring the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation of what school officials suspected was more than $10,000 in missing funds from the Somers Classified Education Association, also known as the Somers Classified Employee Union, an affiliate of the Montana chapters of the National …