• Methuen custodian convicted of stealing from union


    LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) - A custodian in Methuen's schools has been found guilty of embezzling thousands of dollars from her union and sentenced to a month in jail.

    Beth Reuter was convicted Wednesday of larceny of property greater than $250 in value by a single scheme and sentenced to a year in jail, with all but 30 days suspended for three years.

    The sentence was harsher than prosecutors had requested, but the judge said there needed to be accountability.

    The Eagle-Tribune (http://bit.ly/YaxkzE ) reported that prosecutors say the 48-year-old Reuter wrote more than a dozen checks to herself from the union's bank account amounting to $5,815 over the course of about 18 months in 2006 and 2007.

    Her defense attorney said there was no evidence the money was spent on anything but union business.

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