UPDATE: Alexander gets 18 months for theft
INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge sentenced a former Putnam County Sheriff's Department manager to 18 months in prison and three years probation Thursday for stealing nearly $90,000 in federal and county funds over the course of two years, as new details about the thefts emerged.
Additionally, Judge Larry McKinney ordered George Alexander to pay back the money he stole - $31,000 to the Putnam County Auditor's Office and $57,000 to the federal government - and admonished him for abusing his position and the public trust.
The prison term McKinney handed down was the maximum recommended by federal sentencing guidelines and was exactly what Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warden requested.
Alexander was formally charged with stealing about $45,000 in U.S. Department of Justice grants. He pleaded guilty to those thefts in November.
However, Warden said federal investigators believe he stole federal grant money as many as seven times and stole county funds amounting to about $31,000 on seven other occasions.
Alexander declined to speak to the BannerGraphic, though he did tell McKinney that he is sorry for his actions and characterized the thefts as "a momentary lapse in judgment."
During his tenure at the Sheriff's Department, Alexander served as ombudsman and was responsible for purchasing new equipment, applying for grants, managing personnel and fielding input from the public. He was officially doing the work on a volunteer basis, though Sheriff Mark Frisbie paid him $18,000 per year out of his Commissary Fund. He also drove a sheriff's department vehicle, carried a department-issued weapon and a badge, McKinney said Thursday.
Indiana State Police initially charged him with theft in May and Alexander spent several days on the run from authorities before he turned himself in to a police officer at a campground in Rockville, Ind.
Check out Friday's BannerGraphic for more information.