Indianapolis teachers seeking answers after union president is accused of mishandling over $100K

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis teachers are eager to get answers after their union president was accused of mishandling more than $100,000, including money from member dues.

On Wednesday, teachers had the chance to talk to state and the local union officials face to face in the wake of the allegations. There were two opportunities for discussions throughout the afternoon at two separate locations.

This comes days after the now former president of the Indianapolis Education Association faced allegations that she used her union debit card for unauthorized purchases. Rhondalyn Cornett resigned Thursday after pressure from the Indiana State Teachers Association.

According to the ISTA, an audit found the mismanagement of funds occurred over several years.

“Why was this not caught earlier?” said teacher and union member Nathan Blevins. “What were the processes that were in place at the time that we didn’t catch on to it earlier? And, I think that’s something we need to look at as an organization to make sure we go forward in a positive manner.”

ISTA executive director Dan Holub was the one who contacted IMPD and filed a police report last Friday.

Holub released this statement to CBS4 Wednesday:

“We are committed to working with IEA members and leaders through this challenge and work is already underway. We are assuming control of IEA’s financial operations and are working to recoup monies for the local. Together, we will build a stronger local association that is truly member-driven and one that Indianapolis educators deserve.”

Concerns over IEA’s finances first came up back in June when a teacher contacted state officials. The investigation was reportedly completed on November 8. Cornett resigned that same day.

“It’s just kind of disappointing that somebody would do that especially in a union where we’re paying into it but we’re supposed to be doing it for each other,” said teacher and union member Christa Martini about Cornett’s alleged actions.

There is an active criminal investigation into Cornett. The case has been handed over to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and its Grand Jury division.

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