Two union insiders say strapped UTD borrowed from them

05/18/2003 6:34 PM

03/05/2008 6:37 PM

Finances got so bleak at the United Teachers of Dade last year that two top union insiders lent money to their employer - and made a profit on the deals. James Angleton Jr. and David J. Albaum - who turned government witnesses in the federal probe of union boss Pat Tornillo - said they each lent the union between $100,000 and $150,000. They said they charged 10 percent interest for the unsecured loans, done in two installments between last August and December.

"I made like $600, " Angleton said. "It was for a very short time." Albaum said he could not remember how much he earned. Both said they could not remember exact figures for the loans, nor could they provide the loan documents. FBI RAID But the arrangement has raised concern among lawyers hired by the UTD after an FBI raid at union headquarters on April 29, when agents carted off financial records and other items related to Tornillo's travels and tenure as union boss. Neither the attorneys nor union officials would comment for this report. Angleton, 46, and Albaum, 50, were barred from the building Tuesday. Albaum, the union's in-house financial consultant, has not returned since. Angleton, the union's chief financial officer, met with UTD officials Thursday and was relieved of duty without pay. Union officials say they didn't need Angleton anymore because the American Federation of Teachers took over the local's finances after the raid. "It's not retribution, " UTD spokeswoman Annette Katz said. "If you have other people doing all of your finances, it would be duplication of services." Lawyers for both men say their clients were barred from the office because they went to law enforcement. "I'm disappointed that a fellow who has come forward seems to be targeted by the union, " said Albaum's attorney, Thomas Spencer. Tornillo hired Angleton to be the UTD's chief financial officer about 18 months ago. Angleton joined the union from TotalBank, where he helped UTD obtain a construction loan. Angleton then hired Albaum to be the union's financial consultant. The two men have been friends and business associates for 15 years. EXPLANATION OF LOANS Albaum said the loans were needed in part because Tornillo's extravagant credit-card charges were draining the UTD's operating fund, especially during the summer months and Christmas season when the School Board does not forward union dues to the UTD. The school system is entrusted with deducting the dues from paychecks. With the union still short of money over Christmas, Angleton called on a longtime friend, attorney Richard Krinzman, who said he lent the union $100,000 - at 17 percent interest. Albaum said the loans were made so the UTD would not have to obtain a conventional loan that could affect its credit score at a time when the union was trying to secure a mortgage for the UTD building on Biscayne Boulevard. Angleton said Tornillo and union Secretary-Treasurer Shirley Johnson approved the notes, along with an outside union lawyer, Gary Smith, who drafted the paperwork. Smith was out of town Friday and could not be reached. 'REASONABLE' RATE "All of this information and the loan documents were provided to government investigators before the raid, " said Angleton's attorney, Roberto Martinez. "It was for a reasonable interest rate, and it was prepared by an outside law firm." Krinzman said the union began repaying him in March and finished in April - just before FBI agents raided the union. "I'm happy, " he said.

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