Ex-official sentenced to six months in jail for stealing from MBTA worker union

The former president of a union representing more than 300 MBTA workers was sentenced today to six months in jail for stealing $105,812 from the organization’s bank account during his tenure. He was the second top official convicted of stealing from the union.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Dec. 19 found John Horan guilty of two counts of larceny for overpaying himself between 2005 and 2010, using the bank account of the MBTA Inspectors Union Local 600. He also ran up more than $3,000 in charges on the union’s credit card.

The 48-year-old Spencer resident appeared before Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine Roach to be sentenced.


“It seems to me there are some issues, Mr. Horan, about a sense of entitlement, a sense of power … selfishness, ego … I don’t know what it is … but it does seem to be a bit of an aberration from the rest of your life,’’ Roach said from the bench before imposing the sentence.

Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Ben Goldberger had urged Roach to imprison Horan, who had no prior criminal convictions, for 18 months. “It is a first offense, but a very serious first offense,’’ he told Roach.

An 18-month sentence was needed to “provide a meaningful deterrent to other people who would similarly abuse their position,’’ he said.

Horan served as the union’s president for 10 years before retiring in 2010.

The organization’s secretary treasurer, Brian Sheehy, 43, of Quincy, pleaded guilty to similar charges last year and was sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay more than $130,000 in restitution.

Horan, dressed in a black sweater and black pants, stood and clasped his hands together as Roach issued the sentence. As court officers placed handcuffs on him, Horan turned around towards his family and whispered several words to his wife. She wiped tears from her eyes.

Horan will also have to pay restitution, but the amount won’t be determined until a Feb. 20 hearing. During the trial, Jeff Travaline, Horan’s attorney, told jurors that his client was following a practice that was established by his predecessor of adding overtime wages to his pay.

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