FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A former Broward Teachers Union president has been found guilty on multiple charges.
Pat Santeramo was convicted Wednesday on eight of the nine counts he faced, including theft, money laundering, illegal campaign contributions and organized scheme to defraud. He was acquitted of one count of theft involving a gas card.
"He was the gatekeeper of a multimillion-dollar budget from the dues of the Broward teachers, and that money was going nowhere without him knowing exactly where it was going," prosecutor David Schulson told Local 10 News.
Prosecutors claimed that Santeramo inflated invoices on work done at the union and split the excess cash with a construction company owner, who was given immunity for testifying against the longtime BTU president.
"I am disappointed," Santeramo told Local 10 after the verdict.
Santeramo's attorney expressed his surprise by the verdict.
"We are astounded by the outcome of the jury, although we do recognize they worked diligently through a very difficult case," defense attorney Ben Kuehne said. "We are exploring our legal options."
Santeramo faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced.