Tracy Stelter didn’t think she would get caught dipping into the union till. It was an unwise gamble. Last month, Stelter, 44, a special education teacher in the school system of Shiocton (northwest of Appleton), was charged with felony embezzlement from the Shiocton Education Association during her tenure as union treasurer. According to the complaint filed in Outagamie County Circuit Court, Stelter between 2002 and the beginning of this year had stolen more than $9,000 from the union.
Stelter allegedly wrote checks out to “cash” or other persons, disguising the checks as reimbursements. The scheme began to unravel in July 2006, when the union was unable to forward its portion of dues to the Wisconsin Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. After getting another delinquency notice in November, the union ordered an internal audit. When confronted with the discrepancies this January, Stelter resigned her positions with the school and the union. She admitted to police that she needed the money because her husband had lost his job. (Associated Press, 9/22/07; other sources).