A Fairfield-based electrical workers' union has filed a lawsuit claiming a former administrator embezzled more than $260,000 from the union's trust fund to cover up another theft made from an Augusta union. The administrator, Donald Sarette, died earlier this year in a car accident.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1253 Health & Welfare Trust Fund Monday filed a civil lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court, according to the Kennebec Journal. Sarette was owner of Sarette & Associates, a third-party administrator for union and employee benefit plans based in Manchester, N.H., and handled the fund for a decade. The suit claims he diverted funds from the trust of more than $272,305 between Oct. 15 and Jan. 6, depositing them into the trust fund of Augusta-based UA Local 716 to cover up unauthorized withdrawals he made from them. The suit against UA Local 716 is seeking the repayment of $260,454, the amount Sarette allegedly deposited in that trust.
According to the paper, Local 1253 officials confronted Sarette about the money and he confessed to financial problems. They were beginning to talk about ways Sarette could repay the money when he died Jan. 24 in a single-vehicle accident in New Hampshire. His company has since ceased operating.