Theft from state museum brings 20-year sentence

A Nashville judge has sentenced a former Tennessee State Museum employee who stole more than $60,000 to 20 years in prison, according to the Tennessean.

Kathy Alexander, 61, must serve nine of those years before she can be considered for release. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of theft of more than $60,000, and three other charges were dismissed.

The case came to light in August 2014. The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury issued a report about the theft from the museum and called for more oversight of the purchasing role for the museum.

The report noted that the state’s contract with Adecco USA, a staffing agency that hired Alexander three years before she began working at the museum, did not require temporary or contract employees to undergo background checks.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Milam, who prosecuted the case, said Alexander at the time had 10 prior fraud convictions in Georgia. She also had been sentenced in 2003 to 12 years in a Tennessee prison for stealing more than $84,000 from Habitat for Humanity in Nashville, Milam said.

“Because of Kathy Alexander’s prior criminal history, the appropriate sentence for her is going to the penitentiary,” he said.