Former NAACP president accused of stealing $52K for personal use

Beloit NAACP president suspected of stealing from chapter
Birdia McAlister

Birdia McAlister, the former president of the Beloit branch of the NAACP, has been arrested on one count of felony theft. She is accused of misappropriating $52,605 of the organization’s funds for personal use.

Capt. Dan Risse, of the Beloit Police Department, said members of the Beloit NAACP noticed irregularities in their bookkeeping last November and notified law enforcement.

“The record-keeping unfortunately wasn’t everything it could have been, so it is a little difficult to determine what the total amount was. There were some discrepancies, some missing minutes from some meetings, so it was a little difficult to determine what had been approved and what hadn’t been approved,” Risse said.

McAlister is alleged to have used the NAACP Beloit branch debit card to make purchases at area stores and to have written checks from the organization for cable, cellphone and rent payments.

McAlister resigned from her position with the NAACP last November, and new leadership was put in place. Dorothy Harrell is now the NAACP Beloit branch president, and Dr. Dennis Baskin is the first vice president.

Lillie Wilson, president of the Wisconsin NAACP Conference of Branches and National NAACP board member, said the Beloit branch is moving forward to meet its mission. She said while funding is an immediate issue, it is seeking support from the community.

“Funding would be an issue due to the fact that right now they have no funds, but they will work around that. They are working hard to have their annual Freedom Fund dinner, and I’m sure the community will come out and support them,” Wilson said.

Following her arrest, McAlister was released pending a court date.

McAlister declined comment to News 3 except to say she is seeking legal counsel.