Former Beloit NAACP official charged with felony theft

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Frank Schultz
June 17, 2015

BELOIT—The former president of the Beloit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stands accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the organization from 2011 to 2014.

A criminal complaint issued this week charges Birdia S. McAlister, 58, of 1410 Fourth St., Beloit, with felony theft in a business setting. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Beloit police began investigating the case last November after Blackhawk Bank officials alerted police to suspicious transactions on the Beloit NAACP's account going back to October 2011, according to the complaint.

A bank official said McAlister would deposit portions of checks in the account and take cash for the rest, that she would withdraw cash from the account using ATMs and would issue checks to pay her cellphone and cable TV bills.

The total amount of “suspect transactions” was $52,605, the complaint states.

An NAACP member told police he had sent in membership dues, and his check was cashed, but he never received his membership card. The national NAACP told him it had no record of receiving his dues, according to the complaint.

McAlister told investigators that NAACP members used her cable TV and phone, so that is why she paid those bills with the organization's money, according to the complaint.

The NAACP also had authorized payment of $250 a month to cover a portion of her rent, McAlister told police.

No record of that authorization was produced, and a state NAACP official told investigators that the organization's bylaws do not allow use of money for cellphone or TV service or rent.

McAlister resigned her position with the NAACP in November, and Dorothy Harrell became interim president, according to the Beloit Daily News.

Harrell is one of several people mentioned in the criminal complaint as having asked McAlister for the organization's financial records over many months, with no success.

McAlister has been summoned to appear in Rock County Court at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 14.

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