Youth baseball league president arrested for embezzlement - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Youth baseball league president arrested for embezzlement

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Glencoe Dixie Youth Baseball Director Christopher Shane Alford. Glencoe Dixie Youth Baseball Director Christopher Shane Alford.

Glencoe is making a postseason rally to make sure kids can play ball next year.

Mayor Charles Gilchrist said the actions of the president of the town's youth baseball league put the league in debt, and next season in doubt.

Police arrested Christopher Shane Alford for theft of property and theft by deception.  Investigators accused Alford of embezzling nearly $15,000 from Glencoe Dixie Youth Baseball.

An investigation began in July and lasted more than three months.

"We made sure that we had the proof, and Chief Jonathan Horton worked hard on this thing to make sure that we didn't accuse somebody or do something we shouldn't be doing.  We wanted to make sure that it was done right," Gilchrist said.

The mayor said four years ago, before Alford became president, the league had about $20,000 dollars in the bank.  Between registration, tournaments, and concession stand sales, the baseball league should make about $10,000 a year.

"Should have that much left, but it's in a mess," Gilchrist said.  "It's been taken and that's a shame.  The money was taken from the kids."

The city maintains the facilities, while the league controls its own finances.  Gilchrist said Alford asked the city to build press boxes for a state tournament, which Glencoe hosted this summer.  The city paid for materials up front, with the agreement that Alford would pay them back.

The check bounced, and the league is now about $13,000 in debt.  That amount must be paid before play can begin in the spring.  The mayor said annual registration fees from players and their parents should cover a lot of the cost.  The city plans to cover the rest.

"We're going to continue to invest in our kids.  Whatever it takes, this municipality is going to do it.  This administration's going to do to see that it's done," Gilchrist said.

It's a personal issue for him.

"I'm a paw paw, I'm 66 years old and I've got 11 grandkids, and I'm going to see that these kids play ball," he said.  "There will be baseball and we're going to take care of our kids."

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