Public officials and those with management responsibilities in public organizations, like workers unions, often face a great deal of scrutiny. People are quick to make allegations concerning wrongdoing, mismanagement of funds, or other inappropriate behavior. Sometimes these allegations lead to criminal charges, which can have serious consequences. Pennsylvania officials and residents who are charged with fraud, embezzlement or other white collar crimes should understand that they have rights throughout the process.
The former office manager for the Journeyman Apprentice Training Fund was recently investigated by the Office of Labor-Management Standards, a division of the Labor Department. The investigation concluded with an indictment of the former office manager in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The criminal charges against her relate to the alleged embezzlement of over $30,000 from the Journeyman Apprentice Training Fund, which is affiliated with the Sheet Metal Workers Local 12.
Charges related to public corruption and embezzlement can quickly damage a person’s reputation or career. Public officials often face a great deal of bias from the general public, which leads the public to quickly jump to conclusions concerning the defendant’s guilt. In these kinds of situations, it is important to aggressively defend against the charges and ensure that the legal system operates under the premise that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
These kinds of cases are often complex, with many different facts and circumstances that can color the situation. It is important that all relevant facts are brought to light and that a prosecutor’s efforts to achieve a conviction do not infringe on a defendant’s rights. In many cases, the incriminating evidence and the manner in which it was obtained can be an important part of the criminal defense. Regardless of the weight of evidence against an accused party, he or she deserves to have his or her legal rights respected and protected.
Source: National Legal and Policy Center, “Pittsburgh Sheet Metal Workers Office Manager Indicted for Theft,” Carl Horowitz, May 13, 2014