Ex-union official seeks to avoid prison for theft


November 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A former federal union official who embezzled $33,000 is asking a judge to show leniency. Ann Kelly, former treasurer-secretary of the American Federation of Government Employees in Council Bluffs, has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The retired federal railroad inspector used union funds between 2002 and 2007 to make payments to personal credit cards and write checks to family members. The charge carries up to 20 years in prison, but Kelly’s attorney is asking a judge to impose a term of probation during Wednesday’s sentencing in Des Moines. Her attorney says Kelly’s theft was motivated to help her family out of financial crises that included her son having cancer and her husband having business failures. He says Kelly cashed out her retirement savings to repay the money.