by Kevin W. Bliss
A guard at the jail in Washington, D.C., was arrested on December 17, 2022, on federal charges he embezzled funds from the union representing him and other guards to buy himself tickets to concerts, NBA basketball games and stays at luxury hotels.
Andra Parker, 64, was chairman of the Labor Committee at the D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) in 2018 and 2019, when he had access to the funds and the crimes allegedly occurred. Records show he reserved a flight for four to New York City in December of 2018. Then, after the flight was booked, he emailed the Cornell University School of Labor Relations to ask if there were room for four more attendees in a training seminar the school was holding in New York City that week.
Told that the two-day event was already full, Parker didn’t cancel the plane tickets. Instead he allegedly spent $7,000 from an account created by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to take his friends for a stay at the Times Square Hilton Garden Inn. The group also attended a Broadway play, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, as well as an NBA game between the Wizards and Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Parker was also accused of spending union funds on four tickets to see a Diana Ross concert on September 25, 2018, at the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland. An indictment unsealed on December 19, 2022, charged him with wire fraud.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) called Parker’s actions “maddening” and criticized him for stealing employee funds to lavish extravagance on himself and his pals. “...[W]e are very, very supportive of the prosecution,” the mayor said.
Just months before Parker’s arrest, another D.C. Jail guard was accused of smuggling drugs into the lockup. Beverly Williams, 52, was arrested on September 26, 2022, on charges of introducing narcotics into the jail. She had been caught trying to smuggle contraband earlier that month. Two detainees were also charged in the scheme. [See: PLN, Dec. 2022, p.64.]
At a news conference on the day Parker was charged, Bowser hinted that more arrests were likely. “You will be held accountable if there’s something that you’re not doing right,” she said. “Expect more arrests if there are officers there who continue to do the wrong thing.”
Representatives from FOP could not be reached for a comment.
Source: Washington Post
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