There were a lot of mysteries surrounding the attempt to seize control of the Wicomico County Education Association in Maryland just prior to a vote on disaffiliation, but the biggest one was how a group of members with no authorization other than a handful of petitions managed to persuade a bank, an Internet service provider and a locksmith to grant them access to the local union’s property and finances. It seemed absurdly easy.
Now EIA has learned that the “interim managers” received one stamp of approval that was just enough to gain entry to the WCEA premises and possession of its money – that of Maryland State Education Association chief counsel Kristy K. Anderson.
Despite its later claim of neutrality, the state union was involved in the takeover as it happened. Anderson was not only present as the interim managers entered the building, she personally paid for the locksmith to change the locks. Here is a scan of the receipt with her signature. I have redacted the section that shows her home address and phone number.
One of the first actions the interim managers took upon seizing the WCEA checkbook was to reimburse Anderson for the $180 she spent. The checks were signed by managers Kevin Johnson and Joanne Hoeffner and have “locksmith reimbursement” written in the memo section.
A circuit court judge issued a temporary restraining order against the interim managers and restored the elected WCEA officers to their positions. How did the top legal officer of an NEA state affiliate think it would turn out any differently? What MSEA governing body authorized her actions, and when?