A FORMER union official has appeared in court accused of stealing £41,680 of the organisation’s money.
Ann Sharp, 54, who was branch treasurer for Hartlepool Borough Council branch of union Unison is charged with taking the cash over a period of two-and-a-half years.
Council worker Sharp is alleged to have stolen the money between December 2007 and July last year when she was seconded to the union from the council and was joint secretary and treasurer.
She did not enter any pleas to the four counts of theft she is charged with when she appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.
Unison provides negotiating and bargaining support for 850,000 members across the UK, including around 1,750 employed by Hartlepool Borough Council.
Contributions to the union start from just 28p a week and rise depending on salary. A member earning between £17,000-£20,000 a year will contribute £11.50 per month, or £138 a year.
Magistrates said they could not deal with the case because of the large amount of money allegedly stolen.
Sharp, of Pannell Place, Hartlepool, must be back at court in eight weeks time when the case will formally be committed to the crown court.