President of IPS teachers union resigns under pressure, accused of misappropriating $100,000

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The president of the teachers union for Indianapolis Public Schools has resigned after an investigation found she mishandled more than $100,000.

According to a statement from the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), the investigation into former Indianapolis Education Association (IEA) president Rhondalyn Cornett began in June and wrapped up on Nov. 8. The investigation was in response to a complaint that an IEA member concerned about the group’s operations filed with ISTA.

The investigation and audit found “serious financial mismanagement and misappropriation of more than $100,000 in funds over a period of several years,” the union said. Some of the money included membership dues.

Cornett resigned under pressure from union leadership. For now, Ronald Swann, the group’s newly elected vice president, has assumed the role of IEA president. ISTA will manage IEA’s financial operations for the next two years.

“Because of the IEA president’s failure to meet her obligations toward sound financial management of members’ dues dollars, she has complied with a demand that she resign effective Nov. 8,” according to an ISTA statement on the matter. “New local leadership has assumed control and are prepared to deal with the issue and move the Association forward in a positive direction.”

ISTA has reported Cornett’s conduct to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Organized Crime Section, although the statement said it was unclear if Cornett committed a crime.

ISTA filed an insurance claim to recoup lost money from membership dues and is also considering other legal action.