Theft of union funds to cover losses at gambling casinos is all too commonplace. Grace Isley represented a twist on this theme: She headed a union that represents casino employees. Isley, formerly president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2051, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on June 21 to embezzling nearly $12,000 in local funds over a more than three-year period. Sentencing is set for September 23.
Federal prosecutors stated that Isley, 61, a resident of Des Moines, during the period June 2006-August 2009 diverted member dues checks into a personal checking account and made unauthorized payments to herself, the latter offense including her making of false claims of absence from work. The total illegal take was $11,943.82. AFSCME Local 2051 represents employees of Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa, located in the Des Moines area. The guilty plea follows a probe by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.