The former president of the labor union that represents employees at Palisades Medical Center admitted today that she billed $14,500 in expenses for her son’s wedding to the local.
Kathleen Fonti, 55, of Rochelle Park repaid the money over the course of a year, but it was only after the union found out, federal authorities said.
Fonti could go to federal prison for a year when she is sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Michael A. Shipp on Sept. 17. Shipp released her on a $50,000 bond until then.
During a plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, Fonti admitted she illegally billed more than $14,500 to the 800-member Health Professionals and Allied Employees (“HPAE”) Local 5030’s American Express card.
The charges, she said, were for hotel bills and other expenses related to her son’s August 2007 wedding in New York City.
Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra Jr. credited investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor Management Standards with helping make the case, presented in Newark by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow.
HPAE Local 5030 represents including nurses, social workers, dietary,housekeeping, and technical workers at Palisades Medical Center, on River Road in North Bergen.