Providence school administrator facing embezzlement charge resigns

Jo-Anne Micheletti is accused of embezzling money while president of Providence’s school clerical workers’ union. (Photos: RI State Police/WPRI-TV)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A former president of Providence’s school clerical workers’ union who was charged with embezzling from her union has resigned from her job in the school department, Eyewitness News has learned.

Jo-Anne Micheletti, who left her post as president of Local 1339 in 2016 for a higher-paying administrative job in the school department, submitted her resignation on Aug. 16, according to a meeting agenda posted Monday by the Providence School Board. A spokesperson for the district said there was no severance agreement with Micheletti.

Micheletti has been on paid administrative leave since April after she was arrested by State Police for allegedly making $6,946 in unauthorized withdrawals from a union account between 2014 and 2016. A State Police affidavit states there was $1,129 unaccounted for after Micheletti made several deposits to the union account. She was charged with embezzlement and unlawful appropriation, both felonies.

Micheletti is scheduled to appear in Providence Superior Court on Thursday.

Local 1339 is affiliated with AFSCME Council 94. In April, Charlene Vela, the current union president, said she went to Council 94 when she discovered money was missing and they recommended the union hire a firm to conduct a forensic audit.

Micheletti faced criticism from her colleagues for leaving her $50,000 a year union job to become the district’s $75,748 a year timekeeper administrator last year.

The new position came after Micheletti negotiated a new three-year contract for the union that was viewed as a victory for the Elorza administration. The deal included a 1.75% pay increase on July 1 and a 3% increase on July 1, 2017, but also eliminated two steps of longevity pay for senior employees.

With Micheletti as president, the union also agreed to a restructuring of the central office to the school department that was designed to place more clerical workers directly into schools.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan