Hispanic/Latino Commission speaks out on criminal charges against former Executive Director

Maria Louisa Mason - photo courtesy: Michigan Attorney General's office

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Two days after embezzlement charges were brought against a former executive director the Commissioners of the Hispanic/Latino Commission are commenting.

Maria Louisa Mason, 80, is charged with embezzling more than $73,500 between 2013 and 2015.

The money was intended for to be used to build a statue honoring Hispanic civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Mason is accused of diverting the money to pay for her credit cards, personal bills and taxes.

She retired in 2015.

In today’s statement the Commissioners said they first took their concerns to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, who then turned to the Michigan State Police.

They added:

We have full faith in the competence and professionalism of the Michigan State Police and the Attorney General’s office to bring this situation to an appropriate resolution. We also have complete trust in the fairness of the criminal justice system and that Ms. Mason will have a fair day in court.

A judge set Mason’s bond at $10,000. She’s scheduled to be in court again at the end of the month.

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