DC Union Boss Resigns Under Theft Cloud

The president of the District of Columbia teachers' union resigned last
week, following the discovery of alleged irregularities in the
organization's financial statements.

The executive board of the 5,000-member Washington Teachers' Union
requested that President Barbara Bullock step down following a probe
conducted by the union and its national parent, the American Federation of
Teachers, said Alex Wohl, a spokesman for the AFT.

Treasurer James O. Baxter and Ms. Bullock's special assistant, Gwendolyn
Hemphill, were also asked to leave. Mr. Baxter as of late last week had not
done so; Ms. Hemphill has orally agreed to depart, Mr. Wohl said.

The ongoing investigation found that union members had been overcharged for
dues, Mr. Wohl said. Each pay period, the union deducts $16 from every
member's check, he said. A decimal was misplaced, and $160 was withdrawn
from one pay check.

Several checks and credit-card purchases also could not be accounted for,
Mr. Wohl said. He declined to elaborate on the amount of money involved.

The unions have referred the case to the U.S. attorney's office, where it
will be reviewed, said Channing D. Phillips, a spokesman for the office.

Neither Ms. Bullock, Ms. Hemphill, nor Mr. Baxter's lawyer could be reached
for comment.

Esther S. Hankerson has been named the interim president of the union. She
previously served as the union's vice president.
Nov 6 02

óJulie Blair

To Rich Gibson's Home Page