A one-time president and a past treasurer of the local AFSCME have been arrested for embezzling funds from the union.
Woodbridge Police say the two women — Betty Dasher-Wood, 51, of Hamden and China Byrd, 40, of New Haven — used the money for personal use. They were both arrested Sept. 24 on charges of first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.
Police said the arrests are the result of a lengthy
investigation into the embezzlement of
funds from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) Union.
"The police investigation was initiated in November 2012 after a complaint was received from the current President of AFSCME Local 478, whose offices are located at 27 Lucy St., concerning a protracted misappropriation of funds," the report states. "The President stated that upon taking office he was advised by his predecessors that when they assumed office in 2010 they discovered an inordinate number of unauthorized expenditures that were made by the previous elected President Betty Dasher-Wood, and previous elected Treasurer China Byrd, both of whom served in these offices for two consecutive terms from 2004-2010."
During the course of the investigation, which included a forensic audit, it was determined that during their terms in office, Dasher-Wood and Byrd used the Union’s bank checks and credit card to pay for numerous non-Union related business expenses, police said. The funds were misused for expenditures at restaurants, hair salons, nail salons, pharmacies, department stores, and for private motor vehicle repairs.
"It was determined that during this period both subjects misappropriated Union funds for personal use in an approximate amount of $37,000 each," the report states.
Dasher-Wood and Byrd were released after each posted a $75,000 bond.
Dasher-Wood is scheduled
to appear in New Haven Superior Court on Oct. 7 and Byrd is scheduled to
appear on Oct. 3.