Before members of her family, members of the Foundation Board and other onlookers; the former executive director who was convicted of taking money from the Grand Island Community Foundation last year was sentenced Wednesday in Hall County District Court.
46-year-old Lisa Katzberg was given 60 months probation, 120 days in jail and must fulfill 500 hours of community service for taking over $34,000 from the foundation's coffers.
The prosecution argued that she should have been incarcerated for stealing the money and violating the board's trust.
The defense said however that Katzberg was trying to make amends and has paid back over $27,000 in restitution. The defense also argued Katzberg needed to stay out of jail in order to pay the Foundation back.
When addressing the court, Katzberg apologized and said, "I'm deeply ashamed and I'm so sorry."
Judge Teresa Luther says the reason for her sentence was because she had no criminal background up to this point...not even a traffic citation.
The defense and the Katzbergs had no comment after the sentencing. G-I Community Foundation Board Chairwoman Lynn Cronk declined to go on microphone, but said in a prepared statement:
"The Board of Trustees for the Grand Island Community Foundation is relieved this matter is resolved and behind us. We can now devote our full attention to building a vibrant future for this valuable organization. We are very pleased with our new Chief Executive Officer Tammy Morris, and our board is working closely with her to build strong relationships throughout the community.
With renewed dedication to our mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter, we believe the Grand Island Community Foundation is poised to benefit our community for many generations to come."
The missing funds were discovered during an audit last June. The audit found a bank account opened by Katzberg and appeared she moved foundation money into the account for her own expenses. She resigned after the audit showed the account.