A Hempstead woman and former president of the union representing workers in the local school district was arraigned on a grand larceny charge Friday, officials said, adding that she stole more than $90,000 during her four-year tenure.
Annette Greer, 54, was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead before District Court Judge Maxine Broderick on a charge of third-degree grand larceny, and she is scheduled to return to court Oct. 22, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas’ office.
“The members of the Hempstead Schools Civil Service Association entrusted this defendant with their union dues to represent and support them, but instead she allegedly pocketed their money for her personal use,” Singas said in a news release.
Greer faces up to 3-1/2 to 7 years in prison if convicted. She was conditionally released to probation.
Her attorney, Ronald Jay Beckoff of Garden City, said he has only just begun gathering information about the case.
“It seems to me this is very out of character,” he said, adding that he knows Greer’s family. “She’s a fine woman with no prior record . . . I just don’t understand it.”
Prosecutors said Greer was president of the Hempstead Schools Civil Service Association from 2013 to June 2017 but had control of the union’s checkbook until June 2016. After Greer stepped down in June 2017, her successor found discrepancies in the union’s finances, prosecutors said.
“Following a review by New York State Unified Teachers — a federation of more than 1,200 local unions — it was discovered that from August 2014 through June 2017 the defendant allegedly made unauthorized check payments, purchases, and withdrawals that totaled $90,651.18,” prosecutors said in the news release.
Officials also charged that Greer cited bogus reasons for the 53 withdrawals — scholarship programs, cellphone payments, retirement plaques, barbecues — but that she kept the money for herself.
Law enforcement officials began investigating in January after a complaint was filed by both NYSUT and HSCSA, Singas’ office said.
“We are obviously deeply troubled by what has occurred," said the current president of HSCSA, Pam Parsley. "My fellow officers and I are committed to the highest ethical standards. As soon as we discovered something was amiss, we immediately began an internal investigation; called on our state union for support and notified local authorities. … Nothing is more important to us than the trust and confidence of our members. To that end, we have put in place stronger internal controls to ensure nothing like this can even happen again."