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Former construction union leader pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former Bakersfield union officer plead guilty Monday to embezzling more than $160,000 in union funds between September 2012 and December 2014.

While employed as the secretary-treasurer and business manager of the Bakersfield office of a construction workers union, Edward Padilla, 56, embezzled about $168,780 from the organization for personal use, according to federal court documents.

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Prosecutors said Padilla, who had also served as the president of the union for 10 years, used his position to write unauthorized checks that were signature-stamped with the union president's signature.

In addition, authorities said, Padilla made more than 200 personal expenditures on two of his union credit cards.

Padilla also made unauthorized sick leave payments and travel advances to himself, prosecutors said.

As part of the plea agreement, Padilla agreed to repay $168,780 to the union.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he is scheduled to be sentenced July 10.

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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