The former treasurer of the Buckeye Valley Joint Boosters was sentenced in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Monday morning to three years of community control after pleading guilty to theft charges.
Laverne J. Tigges, 47, of 2300 3Bs and K Road in Sunbury, said at his change-of-plea hearing on Sept. 19 that, while he was the treasurer of the boosters, he used booster funds to pay bills for himself and his construction business. He plead guilty Sept. 9 to a count of theft, a fifth-degree felony, after making a deal with prosecutors.
Judge Everett Krueger sentenced Tigges Monday morning to three years of community control and said Tigges could face a year in prison if he violates the terms of his probation. Krueger also ordered that Tigges perform 240 hours of community service and pay court costs. Prosecutors said Tigges has already paid restitution in the case.
“It was always my intent to repay that money,” Tigges said at his change-of-plea hearing. “But as time went on, that hole became deeper and deeper and I was not able to. I was questioned by the other boosters and I told them what I had done.”
He was later indicted by a Delaware County grand jury on a charge of theft, a fourth-degree felony.
As part of a deal with county prosecutors, the theft charge was downgraded to a fifth-degree felony.
The indictment said the theft occurred between Sept. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2014. Prosecutors said the amount of money stolen was about $20,000.
Prosecutors say the booster club organizes fundraisers for students in Buckeye Valley Schools and that Tigges was responsible for overseeing the boosters club’s bank account and the overall financial status of the organization.
Tigges was released from his bond Monday and the case is considered closed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.