Update: BTU Official Pleads Guilty In Investigation


A veteran Broward Teachers Union higher-up  has pleaded guilty to an election law violation as part of the investigation into former union President Pat Santeramo’s alleged misuse of union funds.

First Vice-President Bernie Schultz, a long-time fixture at the Broward Schools headquarters, is talking to prosecutors, confirmed Adriana Alcalde, an assistant State Attorney.

Schultz pleaded guilty in recent days to one count of violating state election laws, which is a misdeamenor.  She received a year’s probation.

Alcalde said there was no plea deal in return for Schultz’s cooperating.

“She was always cooperating,”  said the prosecutor.

Alcalde added that Schultz pleaded guilty to the charges “she was always facing.”

Santeramo is alleged to have encouraged union members to donate to a political campaign and then illegal reimbursed them from BTU dues. The scheme would enable the BTU to give an amount over the $500 legal limit.

Schultz was one of those reimbursed.

The plan was hatched benefit the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of Alex Sink, the losing Democratic nominee.

Schultz could not be reached for comment.

Other union officials are expected to cut deals with prosecutors shortly.

Santeramo has since resigned and the national American Federation of Teachers have taken over the management of the union.  Alcalde said the union was cooperating fully in the investigation.

Browardbeat.com was the first media outlet to report member dissatisfaction with the BTU leadership and allegations of financial shenanigans by Santeramo. That report was in August, 2011 and it’s linked here.

On a political note, cleaning up the politically-powerful union is more evidence that accusations about State Attorney Mike Satz being soft on political corruption are ridiculous.

7 Responses to “Update: BTU Official Pleads Guilty In Investigation”

  1. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Hear we go again-SNITCH,SNITCH,SNITCH. Burn in hell.

  2. Real Deal says:

    No more unions in campaigns. Bring forward public financing of campaigns. All of this happens so that unions and other private interests can buy off politicians with campaign contributions and it is all perfectly legal. Stop it. Make all campaigns publicly financed and it ends.

  3. Privacy 101 says:

    Hold on there, Buddy. I read you all the time and agree with you almost 100% of the time. I recently questioned why the State Attorney’s office went after Tamarac Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco and not Lieberman, the bigger fish, and you replied that you had the same question. Now you are saying Satz is not soft on corruption. Which is it?

    He believed he couldn’t prove the case on Lieberman but thought he could on Talabisco. Obviously, he was wrong on Talabisco. The bottom line is he investigated both politicians. He did not whitewash it.

  4. Privacy 101 says:

    Assuming you are correct that Satz thought he had a weak case against Lieberman – he can’t possibly think he has a weak case against Ritter, yet no charges. Same with Scott Brook. Satz is soft on corruption.

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Well tell Satz to either shit or get off the pot, concerning chargeing Comm.Ritter-I mean really. As far as Lieberman she out smarted Satz. Plain and simple.

  6. heartbroke says:

    could we look alittle deeper into schultz and others getting BIG pay raises at BTU main office while membership was falling off, membership dues weren’t increased and noone thought to wonder what pat santeramo was up to…now schultz and the usual btu suspects( i.e.lynn cavall,steve feldman,gary itzkowitz and others) are leading the way to “rebuild” BTU?

  7. joe jones says:

    All current BTU executive staff needs to be put out to pasture. Either resign or be fired!
    Time for a thorough house cleaning!