NIEU #19 Director Reacts to Rosetti Charges

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

According to a federal indictment, Fred Rosetti has been cheating the NEIU #19 since 1998.

Former executive director Rosetti headed to court Wednesday to face a host of theft and fraud charges.

Meanwhile workers at the NEIU's Archbald offices continue to help special needs and at-risk children.

On this day, workers are angry and frustrated.

"You're tainted by the allegation, and so I had asked all the individuals, our employees to continue to work as hard as they do and hold your head up high," said current NEIU #19 Executive director Dr. Clarence Lamanna.

He said it's tough to explain how Rosetti was allegedly able to do so much wrongdoing for so long.

After all, Rosetti answered to a board of 20 representatives from five counties.

When asked if it is possible the board was in the dark about this apparent wrongdoing Lamanna said, "I can't believe, I can't believe otherwise."

If board members knew nothing was wrong what about NEIU workers?

If the indictment is true, Rosetti was vacationing in Ireland, Italy and Florida, and federal prosecutors said he padded his bank account by not reporting the days off, then he got paid thousands for unused vacation days after retiring.

The indictment adds that Rosetti used NEIU workers to perform chores around the house, do maintenance on his cars and even more furniture in and out of his home.

Dr. Lamanna thinks some workers aware of wrongdoing were afraid to speak out.

"If you've got a family to take care of and you're making claims that you may or may not be able to substantiate against the boss, that's pretty heavy duty.  So the short of it is, my thinking is that people were fearful," Lamanna added.

That is why NEIU recently adopted a whistle blower policy, which means if any worker suspects wrongdoing they can report it to a board member without fear of retaliation.

The agency also added tougher rules on credit cards, travel and purchasing, all designed to reduce the chance of fraud and theft in the organization's leadership.