I live in the nation’s capital, so scandals in DC sometimes get my attention faster than scandals in the rest of the country. If DC teachers union officials are lining their pockets with money siphoned from union dues, sure, I notice. But union officials are corrupt elsewhere too.
Recently the former president of a teachers union in Miami, Florida, Pat Tornillo, pled guilty for robbing the union. The amount is $650,000, money that bought luxury cruises, jewelry, clothing, and other goodies. Tornillo charged a lot of his extracurricular expenditures on the union’s credit card. An FBI agent, Hector Pesquera, says, “It is nauseating to see the amount of money Tornillo spent on exotic trips and luxuries when the school teachers were going without raises for many years.”Â I guess that’s the point of stealing, to get more money than you otherwise can. To be fair, Tornillo’s annual salary was a paltry $243,000. How could Tornillo get away with it as long as he did, on such a huge scale?
In the DC scandals, accountability also seemed lax. And it’s not even as if it was hard to catch in these cases. The accountants might have noticed the missing money when they review the bank statements. Or the credit card statements. The Florida union didn’t even fire Tornillo after he got arrested they just put him on leave. Yet their own records showed that he had taken their money. Were they hoping he would be acquitted? Surely there are better standards we can exemplify for our kids.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.