The former president of Shakopee Derby Days has been sentenced to community service and probation after he pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor charges of theft and fraud.
Jack McGovern, 52, was charged after an investigation of his financial management prompted the cancellation of the four-day festival this year. District Judge Jerome Abrams sentenced McGovern to 150 hours of community service and two years of probation and fined him $585.
Before delivering the sentence Monday, Abrams received a packet of nine letters citing McGovern’s community involvement and praising his honest character.
Abrams entered an Alford plea in August, which essentially acknowledges that there’s sufficient evidence to convict without admitting guilt, and reduced the charges from felonies to gross misdemeanors.
During the summer of 2015, personal charges of more than $700 were found on a Derby Days debit card held by McGovern. McGovern was president for 18 years and resigned that summer at the request of the new board of directors. McGovern denied making the charges but reimbursed Derby Days for the money.
The festival’s cancellation was announced in February, prompting an investigation and leading to the filing in May of charges against McGovern.
McGovern, who owns an auto shop in Shakopee, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.