Former USW local treasurer is indicted

JEFFERSON — The former treasurer of the United Steelworkers Local 811 union is accused of fraudulently cashing several checks out of the union bank account, totaling about $4,200.

Adele M. Dewey, 44, 185 Chestnut St., Andover, was indicted by the Ashtabula County grand jury last week on fifth-degree felony charges of theft and forgery.

“We’re still going through our internal procedures. We’re aware there were some accusations of misappropriations,” said Pat Gallagher, subdistrict director in the union’s subdistrict office in Warren.

The internal investigation began about March and the auditing department is still reviewing the books, he said. He did not comment further.

The Office of Labor and Management Standards in Cleveland, following up on an internal audit submitted by Dewey, discovered the discrepancies and submitted a “very thorough” report to county authorities, said county Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci.

The 17 bogus Andover Bank checks cited in the indictment — each totaling anywhere between $50 and $603 — were cashed between May 29 and Dec. 24 of last year, according to the indictment.

“She actually was just writing checks out to herself,” Iarocci said. “From this union, there weren’t many checks that needed to be written at all over the short time in which she was treasurer.

“The checks required two signatures … she would sign as one of the signators, then she would forge the signature of another officer.”

Iarocci said it appears as if the all funds in the union account came from member dues, which were electronically deposited. The USW Local 811 solely represents employees working at the Andover Village Retirement Community, where Dewey’s office was located, he said.

Iarocci said Dewey admitted to the thefts and forgeries, and repaid the full amount of the stolen funds before the case was presented to the county grand jury.

No further court dates have been set.

Dennis is a reporter for the (Ashtabula) Star Beacon.