Former director sentenced in cultural center theft
Sunday, April 29, 2012
SITKA, Alaska (AP) -- The former director of Sitka's Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $17,000 in federal funds from the organization.
Gerald Bigelow was sentenced last week to three years probation and ordered to pay back $17,296.
The Daily Sitka Sentinel (http://bit.ly/Imzifm) reports Bigelow last year resigned and left town as the National Park Service investigated "financial improprieties" at the center.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Fields says Bigelow admitted using a cultural center debit card to withdraw cash for personal purchases more than 75 times from October 2010 to May 2011.
Bigelow now lives in Puyallup (pew-AWL'-up), Wash.
Gary Lang, president of the cultural center's board of directors, says the theft seriously hampered the cultural center and that he had hoped Bigelow would receive jail time.
Information from: Daily Sitka Sentinel, http://www.sitkasentinel.com/