The president of the Syracuse Teachers Association (STA) suspended its president after union officials accused her of “gross negligence” for her handling of an investigation involving another union officer’s use of pornography at work.
Karen Fruscello has been offered an ultimatum by union officials, resign or face impeachment, according to a Syracuse.com report Tuesday.
The embattled president said that she discovered that another union officer had been using union equipment to converse with adult entertainers during business hours after ordering a forensic audit. Union board members “questioned” whether Fruscello had the authority to independently order such an audit, according to a January report.
The audit by Fruscello produced evidence that a union official was regularly viewing pornographic material for several years. While the officer accused of watching porn at work was placed under investigation, union leadership focused on Fruscello’s investigative methods when suspending her.
The union asserted that Fruscello acted “against the union’s interests” by hiring her own attorney and forensic auditor. Union officers were also incensed that she removed union equipment from the office, misrepresented the audit findings, and they went as far as to accuse her of “union busting.”
Fruscello’s suspension has not barred her from continuing to collect her $93,000 annual salary. “Due to the circumstances, the union is now reimbursing the district for that position,” spokesman Michael Henesey told Syracuse.com.
According to a letter sent to Fruscello by the union, she faces impeachment at Wednesday’s representative assembly. The union asked her to agree to terms of her resignation by March 3, which she did not do.
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