Former Broward Teachers’ Union President Arrested for Numerous Offenses Against Union

On Tuesday, former Broward Teachers’ Union (“BTU”) President Pat Santeramo surrendered to authorities after he was charged with racketeering, grand theft, campaign contribution violations and money laundering. The arrest warrant alleges that Mr. Santeramo charged union credit cards for personal expenses, fraudulently obtained compensation for sick and vacation leave that he was not entitled to, and orchestrated an illegal campaign contribution scheme under which BTU members would be reimbursed with union funds after writing checks to political candidates. Mr. Santeramo is also charged with receiving numerous kickbacks from South Florida vendors while billing the union for the incurred expenses.

The alleged illegal activity was uncovered after members of the BTU, concerned about the organization’s finances, requested that the American Federation of Teachers (“AFT”) conduct an investigation. The AFT audit revealed salary overpayments and unexplained credit card charges. In November 2011, the BTU executive board voted to relieve Mr. Santeramo of his duties as BTU president. Subsequently, the State Attorneys’ Office filed charges against Mr. Santeramo.

WSH attorneys have extensive experience dealing with the issues presented in the Santermo matter, including labor and employment issues, local government issues, and educational law issues. Our Labor and Employment Law Group consists of Florida labor lawyers who aid in conducting investigations and audits, as well as negotiate collective bargaining agreements on behalf of numerous South Florida municipalities. Our Local Government Law Division provides general municipal representation and legal advice, including representation on behalf of the Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier County School Boards in numerous matters.

Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentCriminal Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersMunicipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Michael S. Popok & Brooke P. Dolara