The former president of the Washington Teachers Union testified yesterday that there was no conspiracy to embezzle an estimated $5 million from the union.So there was no plan to cover up. Well, except for those credit card charges that were filtered through another entity run by friends and relatives....
"That never occurred," said Barbara A. Bullock during her fourth day of testimony at the trial of three former union officials in U.S. District Court. Bullock, 66, pleaded guilty to embezzlement in 2003.
Ms. St. Jean referred to Bullock's February 2003 interview by FBI agents, during which Bullock stated she thought "conspiracy" meant to cover up evidence.
"I never had planned per se to cover up," Bullock testified yesterday. "But when you look at what we did, we did cover up."
Mrs. Hemphill had said another account was needed because of WTU's financial woes, Bullock said.And then there's this gem:
Bullock has said they used the name of a cooperative firm identified in court records as Expressions Unlimited and another American Express card account to hide the expenditures. Expressions Unlimited was operated by the defendants' friends and relatives and has since shut down, records show.
Bullock reportedly spent as much as $1.2 million from the WTU's treasury on jewelry, crystal, silverware, clothes, mink coats and gifts for union members, family and friends.
Ms. St. Jean read details of the embezzlement conspiracy from Bullock's plea agreement. Bullock said she could not recall many details.Again I ask: How did this woman become the head of the WTU? The frightening thing is had Matt Wennersten not raised a stink there's a pretty good chance Bullock and her cronies would still be defrauding the union and its members.
"There was a lot going on, and I don't recall all that," she said. "I agreed to what had been done cause I knew what had been done."