Unionist pleads not guilty to embezzlement rap

Did Dept. of Labor investigators get it wrong?

A Highland Park woman who worked for the International Longshoremen & Warehouse Union Local 26 as a bookkeeper pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of embezzling union funds. Rosa Della Porta, 44, was arrested by federal agents on August 12; her trial is tentatively set for October 7. As office manager and bookkeeper of ILWU Local 26, Della Porta's responsibilities included receiving union dues and making bank deposits.

Della Porta received cash from various union sources, deposited less cash than the union received, then kept the balance, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek. Investigators believe Della Porta embezzled about $108,000 in cash from ILWU Local 26 from January 2003 through June 2006.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in federal prison.


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