Paul D. Sloan used to make a nice pile of money running the Airline History Museum. Today, he's a convicted felon.
Sloan appeared in Cass County court on Monday and pleaded guilty to stealing from the museum, which occupies a hangar at the Wheeler Downtown Airport. Sloan, the executive director, was accused of mishandling the nonprofit's checkbook to the tune of $51,000. He was placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution, with a $200 check due on December 1.
Prior to his indictment, Sloan had come under criticism for drawing a $120,000 salary -- more than half of the museum's income, according to a May 2009 Kansas City Star report. Sloan said he was worth the money, but he resigned from the museum a short time after the story appeared.
Most of the Airline History Museum's members have a connection to TWA, which was headquartered in Kansas City from 1931 to 1964. A restored Constellation aircraft, a favorite of Howard Hughes, is on display at the museum.
About 18 members of the museum attended Sloan's hearing. A mostly elderly bunch, they seemed pleased to see Sloan face justice, even if they could not hear him admit his guilt. (The courtroom needs better audio.) A few taunted Sloan -- "Bye, Paul!" -- as he left the courtroom with his attorney.
Sloan's plea agreement also bars from handling money at a nonprofit for the period of his probation. He had no comment after entering his plea.