It’s easy to feel sympathy for Steven James McDeid. But that doesn’t make his thefts excusable. McDeid, the former longtime president of Branch 388 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, pleaded guilty on March 24 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to embezzling $51,639.61 over nearly five years from the St. Cloud union. Charged on March 5, he remains free on bond pending sentencing.
McDeid, 62, a resident of St. Cloud, headed NALC Branch 388 from 1990 until October 2008. An ex-Marine with two tours of duty in Vietnam under his belt, he’d been diagnosed with combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prosecutors alleged that he also was adept at misrepresentation. During January 2004-October 2008, McDeid, a full-time letter carrier, converted union funds to personal use by traveling to meet with union members and management during regular working hours, falsely claiming that he’d lost his job. Additionally, he made out phony travel invoices for trips he’d never made. “Mr. McDeid was very unhappy and had poor mental and physical health in the period of time that this case covers,” said defense attorney Benjamin Warpeha. “He made some very bad decisions and abused the position of trust that he was in. He is committed to repairing the damage as much as he can.”