AP NEWS
Related topics

Theft of nearly $86K in Chavez statue money brings probation

March 21, 2019
This 2018 photo released by the Michigan Attorney Generals Office, shows Maria Louisa Mason. Mason, of Williamston, Mich., a former director of the Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission was sentenced to five years of probation Wednesday, March 20, 2019, for stealing nearly $86,000 that was set aside for a Michigan statue to honor farm labor leader Cesar Chavez. (Michigan Attorney Generals Office via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former director of the Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission has been sentenced to five years of probation for stealing nearly $86,000 that was set aside for a Michigan statue to honor farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.

The Lansing State Journal reports 82-year-old Maria Louisa Mason of Williamston was given her punishment Wednesday and plans to sell a property near Higgins Lake in northern Michigan so she can pay restitution.

She says she’s “extremely sorry” and “very ashamed.”

Mason earlier pleaded guilty to embezzling money that included state tax dollars and private donations. The planned Lansing statue hasn’t been built.

The money allegedly was used to pay credit card bills, taxes and other personal expenses. The scheme spanned years and lasted until June 2015.

Mason retired in 2015 from state government work.

___

Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.