Pat Santeramo, 64, who once led the 11,000-member Broward Teachers Union, is now accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the teachers. Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, union administrator John Tarka and Adriana Alcalde from the Broward State Attorney's Office discuss the case, while Santeramo's attorney Benedict Kuehne issued a written statement.
A judge ruled late Thursday that the former president of the Broward Teachers Union can use his savings and assets to pay for his bond, The Miami Herald reported.
That clears the way for Pat Santeramo, 64, to be released, if he can meet his $480,000 bond. He surrendered to authorities Tuesday and is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the teachers.
Santeramo faces 20 charges including racketeering, six counts of grand theft, five counts of campaign contribution violations, four counts of money laundering, three counts of organized scheme to defraud and one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. His lawyer Benedict Kuehne said Wednesday that Santeramo is not guilty and that he hopes to get him out of jail soon.
Santeramo’s finances were dissected in an hours-long hearing Thursday during which his wife, Lynne Webb, testified that the couple have had more than a half-million dollars in savings accounts CDs for years, the Herald reported.
“We had a very aggressive savings plan,” she said. She told the court that she and her husband were able to save lots of money with their combined income of more than $250,000, according to the newspaper.
Webb makes $89,000 a year as president of the teachers union in Pasco County, the Herald said.
Prosecutors argued that Santeramo’s illegal activities were what caused his savings accounts to grow, but Broward Circuit Judge Carlos Rebello decided that the former BTU president can use his savings and assets to finance his bond, the Herald reported.