Former Staunton Museum Employee Indicted on Embezzlement

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A Staunton grand jury indicted a former state employee accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors say the thefts went on for about a year and a half at the Frontier Culture Museum.

Details have been hard to come by in this case. Court documents show the alleged offenses took place from April 2011 to last October.

But the suspect - 41-year-old Michael Sutton of Grottoes - waived his preliminary hearing, and grand jury proceedings take place in secret.

Sutton is the former marketing director of the museum in Staunton. He was indicted Monday afternoon on 10 felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

The executive director at the state-supported museum says Sutton had been using an official credit card for personal purchases. The amount allegedly added up to roughly $40,000.

Virginia's Office of Public Accounts investigated the case, and state police made the arrest shortly after Sutton was fired in mid-November.

In addition to those felonies, Sutton faces nine related misdemeanor counts. He'll face a May 10 trial by judge on those lesser charges. In the meantime, Sutton remains free on bond.