Crime & Courts

Woman accused of defrauding elderly Yakutat resident can’t serve as Texas county treasurer

A Texas woman who was elected county treasurer after a judge in Alaska determined she defrauded an elderly Yakutat woman will no longer take office because she was unable to find a company to insure her.

Officials in Bosque County, Texas, held a meeting over the weekend to determine who would fill the position now that Carla Sigler would not be taking office.

After a March bench trial in civil proceedings, a Juneau judge determined that Carla Sigler and her husband, James Vernon Sigler, had taken about $700,000 from Neva Ogle about a decade ago. During the year the alleged fraud occurred, Carla Sigler was superintendent of the tiny Tanana City School District, which oversees the Maudrey J. Sommer School with 35 to 45 students.

In November, the couple was ordered to pay back $1.5 million in what state officials described as the largest judgment awarded in an Alaska elder abuse case.

The Siglers moved to Texas shortly after the alleged fraud involving Ogle. They were never criminally charged. A civil lawsuit was filed against the Siglers in 2017, and the Office of Public Advocacy took over the case on behalf of Ogle. She died in 2020.

Carla Sigler was appointed Bosque County treasurer in 2016 and elected to the post in 2019. She was removed from the position during the summer of 2022 because she failed to complete continuing education hours.

She ran for the seat again and was elected in November. Local media in Bosque County reported on the fraud allegations against the Siglers in 2021 and followed the case through the court system.

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Sigler anticipated stepping into the job again in January, but local officials held a special meeting on Sunday because she notified them she was unable to find a company that would bond her in the position.

Officials moved to appoint Pam Browning to the role because Sigler cannot hold office without a bond. Browning served as Bosque County treasurer after Sigler was removed from office in the summer. She launched a write-in campaign against Sigler for the seat in the November election, but Sigler’s name was the only one to officially appear on the ballot.

The Siglers, who filed for bankruptcy in 2020, are appealing the judgment against them in the elder fraud case. Both the bankruptcy and appeal proceedings are ongoing.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.

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