Ex-employee of Exploration Station pleads no contest to theft

The Exploration Station in Grover Beach.
The Exploration Station in Grover Beach.

A former employee of the Exploration Station’s science center in Grover Beach pleaded no contest Tuesday to a felony theft charge in an embezzlement case that came to light about the same time that the center’s board temporarily shuttered the facility.

Stacy Halvorsen, 41, of Arroyo Grande will be sentenced Dec. 2. Halvorsen had initially been charged with three counts of forgery and one count of grand theft over $950.

The Exploration Station is a nonprofit organization that teaches children about technology and science through hands-on activities.

Initially brought on to help coordinate children’s programs while another employee was on maternity leave, Halvorsen stayed on as a bookkeeper. In June, she turned herself in to Grover Beach police and was initially arrested on suspicion of forging two checks.

Under the terms of her plea, the three forgery charges were dropped.

The science station has been closed since July so board members could conduct a review and reorganize.

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