AP audit exposes financial noncompliance within teachers union

An accounts payable audit of Florida's Broward Teachers Union (BTU) revealed poor record-keeping, overpayment and potential embezzlement, according to the Sunshine State News.

BTU president Pat Santeramo is currently being investigated in connection with the alleged misappropriation. So far, the AP audit found that the union overestimated its dues revenue by more than $1 million and could only provide supporting documentation for $96,652 of the more than $265,000 in expenditures by its numerous political action committees.

Additionally, Santeramo was found to have earned an unusually high number of vacation days and sick leave days, which constituted more than one-third of the total accrued benefits for the union.

"The record keeping at BTU is poor, so it is possible that the officers did not realize they were being overpaid," the auditors concluded, as quoted by the news source. They were brought in by the American Federation of Teachers at the request of Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association.

Insufficient record-keeping can hide a multitude of financial sins, from mistakes to wilful misappropriation. Conducting regular AP audits and establishing a strong system of checks and balances can reduce the likelihood of noncompliance.  

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