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Nov. 28, 2021

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Ex-treasurer gets 15 months for theft from union council, having child porn

Vancouver man stole more than $45,000 from VA workers

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William J.
William J. Hainsey, 66, of Vancouver is sentenced for stealing more than $45,000 from a Veterans Affairs employee union and possession of child pornography. Photo Gallery

A former treasurer of the American Federation of Government Employees National Veterans Affairs Council 249 was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison for stealing more than $45,000 from the organization and for having multiple images of child pornography on his computer.

William J. Hainsey, 66, of Vancouver, who has been out on bail since his arrest three years ago, was immediately taken into custody to begin his prison term.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Hainsey pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court on March 20 to first-degree theft and May 28 to two counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Robinson agreed to dismiss eight counts of first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and recommend a sentence of 15 months.

“Cases such as this where a trusted fiduciary ends up stealing a great deal of money is a different kind of case because it injures the victim financially but also personally. … That person is not in a position to steal unless they’re trusted and valued by the organization,” said Judge Barbara Johnson.

Johnson also ordered Hainsey to pay more than $45,000 in restitution, serve three years of probation, register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years, undergo psychological and sexual evaluations and recommended treatment and have no contact with minors.

While Hainsey was treasurer of the council, he was responsible for receiving dues and making deposits to the council’s bank accounts, writing checks for bills, conducting an annual financial report and submitting the books to the audit committee at the end of each fiscal year, according to court records. Between January 2006 and September 2011, Hainsey withdrew money at least 108 times from the council’s bank accounts for his personal use, stealing a total of $45,574, court records say.

The council represents about 10,000 employees at 12 local unions, including Vancouver’s, said Mike Kepner, former council president. He appeared in court Friday with two other executive members of the council.

“The notoriety of this theft has created immeasurable damage to the reputation and effectiveness of the members he stole from,” Kepner said. “We have members barely making ends meet. For example, janitors, housekeepers, clerks and nursing assistants. How do we explain how someone in a position of trust could steal so much money from so many of us? Those explanations are the most embarrassing moments I’ve ever experienced, and there is no repairing the damage this has done to the reputation of the organization as a whole and destruction of faith and trust of our members.”

He said Hainsey also placed him in legal jeopardy by asking him to sign IRS documents falsified by Hainsey to hide the money Hainsey had stolen.

Hainsey said he was having money troubles when he stole the money and incrementally paid back some of the money he had stolen, but he was unable to make up all of the losses.

“I accept responsibility for it,” he said. “I took it out, and I tried to put it back in.”

His attorney, David Schultz, said the sexually explicit images of minors were shared via a person-to-person program, and he deleted them soon afterwards.

“It was an isolated period of time,” Schultz said.

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