(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A former president of the Arlington teachers union, who was ousted last spring, has been charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from the organization.
Ingrid Gant, 54, of Woodbridge, was arrested yesterday (Monday) in Prince William County on four counts of embezzlement. She was taken to the county’s jail and later released on an unsecured bond, according to a press release from the Fairfax County Police Department today (Tuesday).
Fox 5 first reported the arrest.
Gant led the Arlington Education Association (AEA) for six years before being ousted last spring along with her executive board.
FCPD says it was notified of her potential theft last September after an internal audit determined she had “failed to provide financial reports and failed to file tax returns,” raising concerns from Arlington Education Association board members, per the release.
“Calibre CPA Group was hired to conduct an audit of the funds. After six months of reviewing the activity, it was determined Gant embezzled $410,782.10 throughout her tenure as president,” the release said. “Detectives were notified and began their investigation, while working closely with the accounting firm and AEA to review the documentation. Detectives determined Gant provided herself with multiple bonuses and used debit cards for unauthorized purchases.”
Gant was terminated on March 30, 2022, according to police. By April, the National Education Association, which represents educators and staff from public school through higher education, was temporarily leading the AEA under an emergency “protective trusteeship,” ARLnow first reported.
At the time, sources said they were frustrated that the organization had effectively stopped operating, just as the collective bargaining process was starting to ramp up. No one would answer the phone, the website was down for two months and the meeting when members were supposed to launch their executive board campaigns was canceled, raising doubts among members about the fairness of the election.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the Virginia Education Association said in a memo that the union’s finances were in disarray and not communicated to members. Local leaders admitted the disorganization in a memo to members, saying AEA began the 2021-22 fiscal year without a budget and owed $732,000 in dues to the state and national unions.
AEA had also picked up some negative press that year for publishing a press release with a number of grammatical and stylistic errors.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about this case to please call the FCPD Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Fairfax County Crime Solvers by phone at 866-411-8477 and by web.
AEA headquarters is located in the Bailey’s Crossroads neighborhood of Fairfax County, just over the Arlington border.