Postal union leader pleads guilty to embezzling $50Kby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The former president of a postal union branch in St. Cloud has pleaded guilty to embezzling $51,000 from the organization.
Steven James McDeid, 62, had been president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 388.
According to court documents, the embezzling happened between February 2004 and October 2008. McDeid retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2008.
As part of a plea agreement, McDeid admitted he lied to the union when he told officials he lost his job by traveling and meeting with union members during his regular working hours.
The union paid him $92,000, yet he was still working full-time as a letter carrier.
McDeid also admitted he falsely claimed mileage expenses for travel despite rarely traveling.
McDeid's attorney, Ben Warpeha, said his client had been diagnosed and was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder connected to his service as a Marine during the Vietnam War.
"Mr. McDeid was very unhappy and had poor mental and physical helath in the period of time that this case covers," Warpeha said in a written statement. "He made some very bad decisions and abused the position of trust that he was in."
Warpeha added that McDeid will serve whatever sentence he is given and then work toward making financial amends. McDeid faces up to five years in prison.
"Mr. McDeid hopes that the people who have been harmed by his behavior can remember the good things he has done, and that he can earn some measure of forgiveness," Warpeha said.