Shelly Sutton spent a lot of time stealing from her union. She’s now likely to do some hard time. On February 17, Sutton, former treasurer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 477, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to one count of bank fraud in the amount of $93,094. The Wichita-based union represents employees at the local VA hospital. She had been indicted last November for stealing $65,000 in union funds. The actions follow an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Prosecutors had alleged that Sutton, 46, a resident of Augusta, Kan., engaged in the following acts: forged signatures on union checks; made unauthorized cash withdrawals from union accounts; made electronic payments from a union account to her own creditors; and used her union debit card to make unauthorized purchases. She faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, though her sentence probably will be far less severe as a result of her guilty plea.