Scranton, Lackawanna County - After maintaining his innocence for eight months, a former education leader admitted guilt Tuesday afternoon in federal court.
Fred Rosetti, the former executive director of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit #19 officially pleaded guilty to mail fraud and theft.
After prosecutors listed all of the allegations against him, Rosetti said three words, "Guilty your honor."
As he left court, Rosetti broke his silence but didn't mention the crimes he just pleaded guilty to.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to greatfully acknowledge my absolutely wonderful family, my devoted and loyal friends for their continued support and prayers in a very difficult time for our family. Thank you," Rosetti said.
Just minutes earlier the former head of the NEIU pleaded guilty to mail fraud and theft.
He admitted to improperly using NEIU money and employees for his own benefit and the benefit of his family.
"I called him Mr. Arrogance," Frank Koczwara said. "That's how he presented himself. He felt like he was above reproach I guess."
Koczwara was a NEIU employee for 29 years and worked under Rosetti before retiring. He thinks the plea deal is in the best interest of everyone.
"I firmly believe it is probably the right thing to do," Koczwara said. "Get it over with because when you go to trial, its 50-50, you don't know if you're going to win or lose."
While the judge accepted Rosetti's plea, he decided to wait on whether to accept a plea agreement, which calls for a 12-18 month jail sentence and $120,000 fine.
Rosetti's attorney says there was no "easy, patty cake resolution" in this case.
"It was hard and long negotiations. I'll tell you the government was tough. They did not give away the store," defense attorney William DeStefano said.
Until the judge makes his decision on the plea agreement and hands down a sentence, former NEIU employees say they'll be waiting.
"We'll have to wait and see how much time he spends in prison," Koczwara said.
A defense attorney for Rosetti says the former educator was notified by state officials that based on his guilty plea he will not be able to continue collecting his $11,000/month pension.
A judge set sentencing for late January.