- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2005

Former Washington Teachers’ Union President Barbara A. Bullock ended her sixth day of testimony yesterday, saying she will be glad to return to prison.

“I really miss the people I have been involved with at Alderson,” said Bullock of the federal prison in West Virginia where she is serving nine years for her role in the embezzlement of nearly $1.2 million from the union’s treasury.

“There are people there that have benefited from my presence,” Bullock said.

Bullock, 66, has been testifying against former union Treasurer James O. Baxter II, 50; former office manager Gwendolyn M. Hemphill, 63; and former accountant James Goosby Jr., 55.

Mr. Baxter and Mrs. Hemphill are charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting in the theft of nearly $5 million from the union from the late 1990s until 2002. Mr. Goosby is on trial on charges of helping hide the thefts by filing phony financial reports.

Mr. Baxter’s attorney, Michele Roberts, emphasized that prosecutors probably would file motions to reduce Bullock’s time in prison because of her testimony. Bullock pleaded guilty to embezzlement in 2003.

Bullock, who lived in an apartment throughout her reign as WTU president, said yesterday that she misses being at home.

During the trial yesterday, Bullock again identified purchases of nonunion goods using American Express cards such as shoes, jewelry, antiques, clothing, exercise equipment, weight-loss programs, crystal, cosmetics, rugs, a tiara and a dog’s leash.

Bullock also testified that WTU continued to make payments to Mr. Baxter after he became director of labor relations for the District after Anthony A. Williams was elected as D.C. mayor in 1997. Bullock said he was paid on an hourly scale and identified three $3,372 checks payable to Mr. Baxter before he returned to the union in April 2001.

Bullock said Mr. Baxter arranged for $5,000 monthly union American Express expenditures for himself, Bullock and Mrs. Hemphill. She identified 14 of her monthly expenditures, seven of which exceeded $5,000.

After Mr. Baxter went to work for the D.C. government, Bullock’s monthly expenditures soared to as much as $47,500, and, she testified yesterday, she arranged for removal of the $5,000 spending cap.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon excused Bullock, but warned that she might be called back to the witness stand for more testimony.

Later in the day, Kimberly Gladden, a senior payroll specialist, testified that Paychex Co. doled out paychecks to WTU employees. Her testimony focused on a check made out in the amount of $3,007.15, which was issued twice to Mr. Baxter in 2002.

“These checks were cashed two months apart,” Miss Gladden said.

Miss Gladden explained that as union treasurer, Mr. Baxter was authorized to file a “reclaim” on checks. The first check was sent back to him, and then endorsed and cashed again by Mr. Baxter.

Mrs. Hemphill’s attorney, Nancy Luque, objected, explaining that defense attorneys had been trying to see the original check, but always were refused and only saw copies of it. Judge Leon ordered that the original be made available.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide