Detroit Federation of Teachers employee charged with fraud

Sherri Patrick worked as business manager for Detroit Federation of Teachers


DETROIT – A former Detroit Federation of Teachers office worker is facing felony bank fraud charges after she allegedly stole thousands from the teachers' union.

"When it comes to a Union, like the Detroit Federation of Teachers has thousands of members and the money rolls in month after month and yet that proved to be too tempting for one employee here," said union president Keith Johnson.

Sherri Patrick was the business manager for the Detroit federation of teachers in 2009. When newly elected president Keith Johnson started his tenure he found the organization cash strapped.  "We were to the point where we couldn't get ups to make a delivery unless we paid them up front."

Johnson had a staff accountant look at the books.  He said he discovered Patrick's job performance was sub-par. Even worse, he says, she wrote roughly 90 checks to herself and her friends.

"What really sealed it was when we saw a check for that had my signature on it that I know I did not sign."

Johnson reported it to the Detroit police department who, in turn, passed the case over to federal investigators.

On Thursday they said Patrick stole nearly $2,700 which makes it a felony charge.  More than $75,000 turned up missing over four years. By filing the case this way the feds may be signaling there is some sort of plea deal in the works.

Johnson said, "From a personal standpoint it was devastating because this is someone that no matter what I asked her to do it was always done and it was always done with great expediency."

Sherri Patrick was bonded as she did her work which means there was insurance to cover her performance. And so the Detroit Federation of Teachers was able to get most of its money back.

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