On April 11, the Alvin Little League Baseball board of directors held a meeting in which it was determined that there was money missing from the league’s account.
A number of suspicious charges, allegedly including a meal at Pappasito’s that included alcoholic drinks and bag fees during a personal trip to Kentucky, could all be traced back to the card entrusted to then board president, JW Kitchens.
Kitchens made a vague statement that he had used the card for some personal reasons during a period of a time in which his own bank account was compromised for fraud and believed that he had already paid the money back.
No record of any money transfer has ever been found. The next day, Kitchens gave one of the board members $1,000 cash and later provided a check for the remaining amount.
Former board member Robert Bruce has finally come out to release the information about what happened to Kitchens. He said someone needed to speak out because the keeping the league in good condition and being honest is about the children.
According to Bruce, members of the league outside of the board became aware of the situation in May. To avoid a public scandal, the league gave Kitchens the choice of paying the money back or facing the possibility of criminal charges for theft.
The evidence against Kitchens was mostly circumstantial. Many of the charges were definitively traced to his card, but formulating a time line of exactly when, where and for what he used the card was partially accomplished by studying posts on his Facebook page and synchronizing the dates and times.
Kitchens placed the league into a situation in which it was unable to pay certain electricity bills to the city for the use of lights at the fields.
Many people first found out about the incident by a post on the Talk of Alvin Facebook page by Maegan Sarabia, detailing the accusations.
Sarabia could not be reached for comment.
In addition to paying the debt, Kitchens was asked to resign his position as board president and banned for life from ever holding a supervisory or administrative position in a Little League organization again, but Bruce said that in the absence of criminal charges, it will be difficult to enforce the ban outside of the local area.