The former head of Lawrence's teachers union will not spend time behind bars for embezzling nearly $100,000 in union dues.
A judge this morning denied prosecutors' request to send Wayne A. Kruse to prison for 11 months and instead ordered him to two years' probation.
District Court Judge Jack Murphy criticized the Lawrence Education Assn. as he handed down the sentence, saying he was amazed at how easy it was for Kruse to steal the money.
Kruse pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft and one count of forgery.
Because he has no previous criminal record, the crimes call for probation under Kansas' sentencing guidelines. But a prosecutor sought to put Kruse in prison under a law that allows a stiffer sentence for crimes involving a breach of financial trust.
Kruse spoke briefly at the hearing, saying he felt like Prof. Harold Hill, the scamming traveling salesman in the play "The Music Man." He apologized to teachers, students and the union.
- Kruse pleads guilty to theft (09-07-05)
- 6News video: Kruse pleads guilty in embezzlement case
- Judge orders Kruse to stand trial (5-13-05)
- 6News video: Kruse ordered to stand trial (05-12-05)
- Kruse begins defense on theft charges (05-10-05)
- Kruse offers resignation to district (03-29-05)
- 6News video: Kruse offers resignation (03-28-05)
- School district moves closer to firing Kruse (03-15-05)
- 6News video: School board terminates contract of teacher charged with embezzlement (03-14-05)
- Ex-union leader in court on theft charges (03-12-05)
- Charges filed against former LEA president (03-09-05)
- 6News video: Charges filed in missing dues case (03-08-05)
- Police file report on missing LEA dues (02-09-05)