Ex-Chugiak school clerk ordered to pay back embezzled money

Casey Grove

A former Chugiak High School clerk pleaded guilty Monday to stealing tens of thousands of dollars in students' fees over several years.

Brenda Burge, 55, pocketed more than $70,000 in small increments, money from students paying for things like activity fees and lost library books, from 2007 to 2011, according to a charging document.

In February 2011, a secretary at the school told the principal she suspected Burge was stealing, the charges say. The principal did some investigating, then called police, and Burge was eventually fired and charged with theft.

Burge had already repaid the school about $12,000 by Monday, when an Anchorage judge approved a plea deal between Burge and state prosecutors. The judge ordered Burge to pay back the remaining $60,000 and sentenced her to five years of probation and six months of electronic monitoring, prosecutor Jonas Walker said.

In June, police charged another Chugiak High employee, 44-year-old Gayle White, with stealing more than $100,000 from Chugiak and East High School. That case continues to move toward trial, according to court records.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.