Former teachers union president in Broward County, Fla. convicted on corruption charges

Former teachers union president in Broward County, Fla. convicted on corruption charges

Pat Santeramo was found guilty of defrauding the Broward Teachers Union and taking kickbacks from a contractor

The former president of the teachers union in the Broward County (Fla.) district has been found guilty of defrauding the union and taking more than $160,000 in kickbacks.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that a jury in Broward County Circuit Court convicted Pat Santeramo of multiple corruption charges—grand theft, money laundering, organized scheme to defraud and campaign finance violations. Santeramo also is scheduled to go on trial next month in federal court on mail fraud charges.

The prosecution presented evidence that Santeramo received more than $165,000 in payments from Marstan Construction, a general contractor that performed or oversaw work at the union's headquarters.

Marstan chief David Esposito testified that he inflated the cost of work performed between 2006 and 2011, and split the proceeds with Santeramo. The union chief resigned in 2011 as authorities began looking into allegations of financial misconduct.

Prosecutors also said that Santeramo illegally reimbursed employees for campaign contributions to several candidates.

A sentencing date for Santeramo has not been set. Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey R. Levenson indicated that he would wait until Santeramo's federal trial is completed before imposing a sentence.

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