California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Wednesday announced charges against Alma Hernandez, the head of Service Employees International Union California. Photo courtesy of California Attorney General Rob Bonta/Website
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The executive director of the state's largest labor union has resigned after California Attorney General Rob Bonta charged her and her husband with a slew of offenses, including grand theft, embezzlement, tax evasion and perjury.
In a statement on Wednesday, The Service Employees International Union California, which has 700,000 members, said it had accepted the resignation of Alma Hernandez.
"Any misuse of funds is unacceptable, and we are committed to doubling down on our efforts to ensure that all officers and staff adhere to the highest level of ethical and financial conduct," the union said.
The announcement of her resignation came hours after Bonta announced that Hernandez and her husband, Jose Moscoso, were charged on Oct. 4 as a result of a multiagency investigation that allege the couple committed crimes going back to at least 2014.
According to the 13-count indictment, the couple underreported more than $1.4 million in income between 2014 and 2018. Hernandez is also accused of paying her husband thousands of dollars for services he did not provide while she served as treasurer of the Working Families for Solorio for Senate 2013 PAC.
The indictment also accuses Moscoso of failing to report that he employed multiple people to work for his air duct cleaning business, resulting in more than $300,000 in unreported wages as well as failing to report employment taxes.
Both suspects face five counts of filing a false income tax return with intent to evade and are charged with a special allegation of aggravated white collar crime with loss over $100,000.
Separately, Hernandez faces two counts of grand theft and one count of perjury, while Moscoso faces one count of failure to file a report with the Employment Development Department, one count of failure to pay unemployment insurance and training tax, one count of failure to pay disability insurance, one count of failure to file employment tax returns and one count of failure to collect and pay personal income tax.
"We are deeply concerned about the allegations against Alma Hernandez," the union said, adding that it has and will continue to cooperate fully with authorities.
Bonta credited unions for being integral to California, but working people deserve leaders they can depend on and trust.
"When there is reason to believe trust has been broken and crimes have been committed, we have an ethical duty to investigate -- we owe that to the people of California," he said in a statement.
SEIU California said it has appointed Tia Orr as interim executive director.