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Legionnaires Unhappy With Kiewel Sentence

April 9, 2012, 6:18 PM by Derek Olson

Legionnaires Unhappy With Kiewel Sentence
Richard Kiewel

RAPID CITY, SD -

Richard Kiewel, the former manager of the American Legion in Rapid City, was sentenced to 60 days in jail with five years suspended after pleading "no contest" to charges that he conspired to steal thousands of dollars from the legion.

But to some in attendance that isn't adequate.

"We're not happy with this; we are not happy with the plea arrangement.  Judge Davis did what he could do with what he had in front of him and for that we're thankful," American Legion State Judge Advocate Ken Orrock said.

State's Attorney Glenn Brenner took time to address the court, saying there was a lack of direct evidence tying Kiewel to the crime.

Orrock also spoke up along with Janet Wasserburger, former Legion bookkeeper, asking Davis to consider a harsher penalty.  But Wasserburger was cut short.

"The state's attorney had the opportunity to speak in advance and was never cut off; the defense attorney got an opportunity to finish their statements.  We never got an opportunity to finish saying our piece," Wasserburger said.

Davis did say that a likely reason why the money went missing was the poor keeping of financial records by the organization and urged them to put a more stringent system in place.

But with the case now over, the Legion is still unsatisfied.

"We'll get by; we'll recover.  We'll continue to provide these services.  But we're not as satisfied as we'd have been if this had been brought to trial and we'd been included in this process as these things went along," Orrock said.

Brenner did say that despite the lack of evidence, Kiewel was convicted of a felony, and that he's satisfied with the outcome.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Ken Orrock's title with the American Legion was corrected.

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