Former teachers union president in Indianapolis gets 16 months in prison for embezzlement

May 22, 2020
Rhondalyn Cornett was convicted of stealing more than $154,000 from the union she led.

The former president of the Indianapolis teachers' union has sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for stealing more than $154,000 from the union.

Rhondalyn Cornett, 55, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty last year to embezzling union funds.

Josh I. Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, says in a news release that in 2014, shortly after attaining the presidency of the Indiana Educators Association, Cornett began stealing from the union.

The evidence showed that Cornett used her position and authority to write checks from the union’s bank account as well as use the union’s debit card for personal expenses and to withdraw cash.

By the time she resigned in 2018, she had stolen more than $154,000, prosecutors say.

"Ms. Cornett held a position of public trust and authority over the students and her fellow colleagues." says Minkler. "She violated that trust and took advantage of her authority to line her pockets with others money. She now faces the reality of her greed.”

In pronouncing her sentence, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt noted that Cornett stole money that was meant to benefit not only teachers, but also the students of Indianapolis.

Cornett began as a teacher with Indianapolis Public Schools in 1994.

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