Indianapolis Teachers President Charged with Embezzlement; Pleads Guilty

For years, Rhondalyn Cornett stole from dues-paying teachers. She’s now getting an unexpected lesson in humility. On July 22, Cornett, former president of the Indianapolis Education Association (IEA), was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana with one count of wire fraud in a scheme in which she embezzled more than $100,000 from the union, an affiliate of the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association. She then pleaded guilty. The actions follow a joint investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and Indianapolis metro police.

Rhondalyn Cornett, now 54, a resident of Indianapolis, served as president of the union during November 2013-November 2018. She also had a couple of lucrative side hustles. According to prosecutors, Cornett wrote checks to herself from a union bank account and used a union debit card in … Read More ➡

Ohio and Minnesota Teachers Challenge Public-Sector Union Monopoly Representation

The Supreme Court’s Janus decision four months ago, which overturned the authority of public-sector unions to force nonmember employees under contract to pay dues or risk losing their jobs, has taken some unexpected turns. Indeed, barely after the ruling, a Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit group, the Buckeye Institute, filed separate suits on behalf of a high school teacher in Ohio and a college professor in Minnesota challenging the authority of their respective unions to bargain exclusively. In effect, the plaintiffs seek to be freed from representation they never requested in the first place. “These capable public servants have the right to speak for themselves and should be released from forced association with unions and advocacy with which they disagree,” said Institute President Robert Alt. The unions have a different view.

Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 was the most important U.S. Supreme Court decision on public-sector unionism in more than 40 … Read More ➡

President of Philadelphia-Area School Auxiliary Employees Union Charged with Theft

For more than a half-dozen years, Rose Marie Lyons stole dues to cover her gambling losses. Union members are wondering how nobody could have noticed. On February 13, Lyons, former president and secretary of the William Penn Education Support Personnel Association (WPESPA), surrendered to authorities in Delaware County, Pa., where she was charged in county district court with embezzling more than $200,000 in cash and checks from the Lansdowne union. Ms. Lyons, now retired, has been free in the ensuing six months on $100,000 bail. The union is affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, in turn an affiliate of the National Education Association. The action follows a probe by Lansdowne and Delaware County police. No updated information is available.

The WPESPA represents about 90 auxiliary employees of the William Penn School District, one of whom was an administrative assistant, Rose Marie Lyons. Now 52, Lyons, a resident of Wilmington, … Read More ➡