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Judge sentences ex-state exec for embezzlement
LANSING — A former director of the state’s Hispanic/Latino Commission has been sentenced to five years of probation for stealing nearly $86,000 that was set aside for a 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 last month.
Mason plans to sell a property near Higgins Lake in northern Michigan, so she can pay restitution.
She said she's "extremely sorry" and "very ashamed."
Mason earlier pleaded guilty to embezzling money that included state tax dollars and private donations.
The money was allegedly 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.
The statue planned for Lansing hasn't been built.