A federal judge has sentenced a former Indianapolis Public Schools teacher to 16 months in prison. Rhondalyn Cornett pleaded guilty last year to embezzling more than $150,000 from the IPS teachers union.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler’s office says Cornett was a teacher with IPS since 1994. In 2013, she became the president of the Indiana Educators Association, a division of the Indiana State Teachers Association representing IPS, the largest school district in the state. Cornett began a four-year-long scheme of embezzlement from the IEA.
“Ms. Cornett held a position of public trust and authority over the students and her fellow colleagues at IPS,” said Minkler. “She violated that trust and took advantage of her authority to line her pockets with others money. She now faces the reality of her greed.”
Cornett’s scheme began in 2014 and ended when she resigned in 2018. She stole over $154,000 from the teachers who serve the most economically disadvantaged students in the state.
According to Minkler’s office, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said Cornett’s crime is tragic, ultimately stealing money meant to benefit IPS students as well as teachers.
The case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations – Labor Racketeering and Fraud, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.