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Education A National Roundup

Former D.C. Union Officials Convicted of Embezzlement

By Joetta L. Sack — September 07, 2005 1 min read

Two former Washington Teachers Union officials were each found guilty of 23 charges stemming from the embezzlement of millions in union money in the nation’s capital.

Gwendolyn M. Hemphill, who was an aide to the union’s former president, and James O. Baxter II, a former union treasurer, were each convicted on charges related to fraud and embezzlement.

The verdict came last week after a three-month trial in U.S. District Court in Washington. A third defendant, accountant James A. Goosby Jr., who had been hired as a consultant, was cleared of six charges.

The stolen money, believed to total more than $2.5 million, was used to buy sports tickets, designer clothing, artwork, restaurant meals, and other luxury items for the union employees and their families. Barbara A. Bullock, the former WTU president who was convicted in 2003 and is serving a nine-year prison sentence for her leading role in the crimes, testified for federal prosecutors. (“D.C. Union Leader Admits To Bilking Funds,” Oct. 15, 2003.)

Ms. Hemphill and Mr. Baxter will be sentenced in December. They could receive 15 to 20 years in prison.