NWE Little League Treasurer Now Facing 11 Felony Charges In Alabama

June 13, 2023

The former treasurer of Northwest Escambia Little League in Walnut Hill has been arrested on multiple felony charges in Alabama, days after Florida prosecutors dropped all charges for “jurisdiction reasons”.

Atmore Police have charged 48-year old Paula Star Pugh with nine counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument third degree, and one count each of theft by deception first degree, and theft by deception second degree. All of the charges are felonies.

Pugh surrendered at the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center on Tuesday and later released.

According to court documents, the Office of the State Attorney First Judicial Circuit of Florida dropped prosecution in the case for “jurisdiction reasons”. The Escambia County (FL) Sheriff’s Office then turned their investigative files and evidence over to the Atmore Police Department late last week.

According to the ECSO, Pugh was the elected treasurer/bookkeeper since 2017 for Northwest Escambia Little League with the alleged thefts taking place from July 26, 2021, until December 9, 2022.

“During this time Pugh wrote checks on NWE’s account which she cashed for personal use, completed unauthorized debit transactions for personal use, and completed numerous ATM withdrawals for personal use,” the ECSO investigator wrote in his report, adding that Pugh had no receipt or explanation for the transactions.

According to the Florida warrant affidavit, many of the allegedly fraudulent transactions included numerous transactions on the NWE account at the First National Bank and Trust in Atmore. It is those offenses for which Atmore Police brought charges.

NWE first reported the misuse of funds to law enforcement on December 20, 2022, and an investigation was launched by the ECSO. Over the next several weeks, an ECSO investigator and ballpark officials examined the league’s financial records and built a ledger of transactions attributed to Pugh with no receipt or explanation, the report states. Deputies said the NWE board attempted at least twice to meet with Pugh and obtain receipts, but the attempts were unsuccessful.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said numerous attempts were made by phone and in person by the investigator to contact Pugh with no result, until she returned contact on March 7, 2023

Florida authorities alleged the following transactions were fraudulent, according to court documents. Pugh is not currently charged with all of these transactions.


18 Responses to “NWE Little League Treasurer Now Facing 11 Felony Charges In Alabama”

  1. Manny Packioww on June 16th, 2023 10:37 am

    Wow, she sure looks, uh, excited?! You got caught lady, just take your licks.

  2. Old School on June 15th, 2023 12:46 pm

    Hopefully this will be a wake up to all volunteer organizations in the area. Protections can be put in place to greatly reduce the possibility or prevent these type things from happening. Dual signatures, independent audits and bank statement reviews by the board of directors should happen during scheduled meetings. Unfortunately, governing boards get blinded by trust and driven by emotion or just plain lazy. An honest person will never be hesitant or offended to review the books. History repeats itself often when dealing with money. Remember the “Fake Cancer Queen” from the not to distant past. She enjoyed dipping her hand in the bucket of many of the volunteer youth organizations over the years then played the cancer card to get donations!

  3. Jim Shugart on June 14th, 2023 3:21 pm

    I agree with Leslie (6.13), a person is innocent until proven guilty. Let the facts play out, and let the condemnation please stop.

  4. J.s on June 14th, 2023 2:30 pm

    @ i care i know where you’re coming from but the old saying is the proof is in the pudding….check out the pudding listed above in the bank statement…yes she done the children wrong (and the park) but now she needs to pay it back with interest….she’ll probably get probation…and let this be a lesson and always get 2 signatures when dealing in the parks funds

  5. Rob Morano on June 14th, 2023 9:44 am

    Sad thing is she probably has a child in the organization wich makes it 10 times worse.

  6. anne on June 14th, 2023 9:24 am

    I’ve never seen anyone so proud of making the front page ! Nice to see she thinks her smile will keep her out of jail.

  7. Susie on June 14th, 2023 7:42 am

    She’s already wearing the orange jail jumpsuit. I actually believe this woman seriously needs mental health care. What other reason is there to burst out smiling like that in a mugshot?

  8. I care on June 14th, 2023 7:17 am

    We really don’t know this lady and who are we to judge!
    We all need to stop saying things about her only she and the good lord knows what she does it will work itself out Praying for this family

  9. CC on June 14th, 2023 6:58 am

    In Alabama she will get probation and be required to pay back the money. She is most likely a first time offender and these are non-violent offenses.

  10. J.S on June 13th, 2023 11:11 pm

    Someone who has been accused of stealing from kids and the park to benefit herself..and can wear a smile like that!!! does not care about our children just what they can raise $$$ to benefit her. Please we all are begging you State of Ala. To charge her with everything she has done. the records show it in black and white what more do you need? If its all the children to come to court and say she stole from them we’ll have them there my Grandson included..don’t let her get away with this

  11. David on June 13th, 2023 10:19 pm

    Every photo of her in orange, she has had a big smile. I don’t understand how she can be so pleased with herself with all these changes against her. Am I missing something?

  12. Patricia McNamara on June 13th, 2023 7:44 pm

    Karma has finally caught up with this person.

  13. Leslie on June 13th, 2023 6:44 pm

    I don’t know if she did it or not. But in this country you’re innocent until proven guilty.

  14. RWA on June 13th, 2023 3:17 pm

    She seems to be pleased with herself. One person should never have control over the finances. Any organization I have been a part of required two signatures on a check and a debit card wasn’t allowed. Monthly financial statements should be made available. And, and annual audit. You shouldn’t have to check behind people but some are dishonest and decide to help themselves to funds that are not their own.

  15. Bill L. on June 13th, 2023 3:11 pm

    Hopefully she will be given a reason to wipe that smile off of her face.

  16. Beach Boy on June 13th, 2023 2:58 pm

    Florida prosecutors may have dropped the charges against you….BUT I hope and pray that Alabama throws the book at you for stealing from kids for your own gain.

  17. Veronica on June 13th, 2023 2:44 pm

    Orange looks great on u how did you know it was picture day

  18. Juanita on June 13th, 2023 2:36 pm

    Damn!! Stealing from children!! Such a freaking shame!!