Second whaling commission director sentenced

Casey Grove

The second of two former Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission executive directors to admit to misusing commission funds was sentenced Monday to six months in prison and ordered to pay back more than $100,000.

Barrow resident Teresa Judkins, 52, took over as the commission's executive director in 2007 following the firing of Maggie Ahmaogak, who also admitted to embezzling commission money, later determined to be about $393,000. She was sentenced in November to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay back the money.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Judkins took $100,339 of commission money in 2007 and 2008 by cashing commission checks, taking payroll advances she never repaid, buying a snowmachine, and paying for personal vacations with commission money. Judkins pleaded guilty in May to two counts of misapplication of funds from an organization receiving federal grant money.

The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission is funded, in part, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and aims to protect subsistence bowhead whale hunting.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.