Testimony showed [Matthew] Calley stole more than $400,000 from an account dedicated to helping officers in dire financial straits and providing scholarships. It was funded by telephone solicitations of citizens and businesses.Remarkably, this isn't the only such recent case involving Houston police union officials, reported the Chron:
The rest of the money Calley took was from the group's political action committee's account. Speaking to Calley, state District Judge Michael McSpadden said the 20-year sentence was because of the amount taken and "the betrayal of trust."
Calley faced punishment ranging from probation to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree felony theft in excess of $200,000 and misapplication of fiduciary funds.
Former Houston police officer Ronald L. Martin, 55, was sentenced to 10 years probation and restitution of $40,000 after pleading guilty in February to theft by a public servant.Amazingly, union officials downplayed the impact of so much money being stolen:
Martin and his former son-in-law Jeffrey Larson, 43, both union officials, were indicted in 2008 on felony charges of misapplication of fiduciary property, accused of allowing between $100,000 and $200,000 to be stolen from the union.
Larson's case is pending trial.
Gary Blankinship, the union's president, said emergency union funds were not affected because the money was stolen gradually and not in one large amount.For union offiicials not to have noticed so much money missing from their charity and PAC tells this writer two things: 1) The union is rolling in cash, and 2) there's no meaningful oversight of how union funds are spent.
"We've always had money in that account,'' Blankinship said. "Realize this went on for years and years to reach that amount. ... We were always able to meet obligations."
Blankinship said the thefts could have affected the number of scholarships awarded to children of police officers, but added they stayed "fairly consistent" over the years the theft occurred.