Union official at Northwest accused of misappropriation

By Ryan Ottney

October 4, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday that a former union official at Northwest Local Schools is facing possible indictment by the grand jury.

According to the Ohio Education Association (OEA), the statewide teachers’ union noticed untimely payments of union dues made by the Northwest Local Education Association (NLEA) in December 2012. After speaking with the local chapter, an investigation was started which discovered a possible misappropriation of funds.

“The Local (union) closed that bank account and they opened a new one according to our recommendations, so the Local could continue to conduct business without the threat of loss of additional funds,” said OEA Spokesperson Michele Prater. “That information was turned over to an independent auditor, and in September of 2013, just recently, the results of the audit were shared with OEA and Northwest Local Executive Committee. The audit determined that Jackie Murphy, who was a former officer, misappropriated the funds.”

At that point, she said the case was turned over to law enforcement.

“The Northwest Local Education Association and the Ohio Education Association have a zero tolerance policy related to individuals who engage in the misappropriation of members’ funds. Law enforcement officials have investigated the misappropriation of funds from the NLEA. NLEA with the assistance of OEA are cooperating with law enforcement officials,” Prater said.

Capt. David Hall, at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, said the case against Murphy has been forwarded to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office for possible indictment by the grand jury.

A representative of the NLEA did not return calls for comment.

Northwest Superintendent Todd Jenkins said this is a union matter which does not involve the school, and Murphy remains employed by the school at this time. According to the school website, Jackie Murphy is an 8th grade English teacher at Northwest. If she is found guilty, Jenkins said the board would discuss then what, if any, action is required.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.