JANESVILLE

A former president of the Beloit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who was accused of stealing from the organization was sentenced in Rock County Court on Thursday to two years of probation.

Birdia S. McAlister, 63, of 1021 E. Henderson Ave., Beloit, originally was charged with felony theft in a business setting. As part of a plea agreement announced in court Thursday, she pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor theft.

The maximum penalty for the original charge included 10 years in the prison system. Each misdemeanor charge carried a maximum nine months in the county jail.

Judge Karl Hanson also ordered McAlister to pay restitution. A restitution hearing scheduled was set for Friday,Jan. 31.

The original criminal complaint accused McAlister of stealing $52,605 from the NAACP in a series of bank transactions from 2011 to 2014. Her attorney, Philip Brehm, told The Gazette the actual amount might be very different.

“More has to be done to determine what that number actually is,” Brehm said. “Even though a lot of time passed, I don’t think that number is obvious, what the true loss is.”

McAlister was charged in June 2015, but the case has lingered in part because of a dispute with her first attorney led to the appointment of Brehm and because of a court-ordered competency examination. She was found competent to assist in her own defense in 2016.

McAlister did not show up for a court hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, and Hanson issued a bench warrant. McAlister arrived later Thursday, and the hearing went forward.