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I've heard that the Kansas-National Education Assn. is paying Wayne Kruse's legal bills because when he was president of the Lawrence Education Assn., his actions were covered by the state association's liability insurance. Is this true?

"That is not true," said LEA president Sam Rabiola. "KNEA has not paid any of Mr. Kruse's legal expenses, and I cannot foresee any circumstances in which they would."

Kruse, a former LEA president, is accused of stealing more than $25,000 in teachers' union dues. KNEA has reported more than $97,000 missing from its coffers.

"We've not had a request from Mr. Kruse for any assistance in any way, shape or form," said KNEA general counsel David Schauner. "We do have a liability policy for officers, but for him to be eligible he would still have to be a KNEA member, which he is not. Plus it would only take effect if the charges are dropped or he's found not guilty. In other words, it wouldn't take effect until after the trial, not before."

Kruse's preliminary hearing is today in Douglas County District Court.

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