Lugtu, 63, a prominent figure in Vancouver’s Filipino community was also the former treasurer of a local non-profit arts society, the Asian Canadian Writer’s Workshop
He faces allegations that he used this position to misappropriate tens of thousands of dollars, while he served as treasurer.
In an interview with The Province
newspaper Lugtu said he wanted to review the allegations against him in more detail, seek legal advice, and then decide how to plead.
“I still have to have my day in court and I haven’t made any statement yet whether I will plead innocent or I will plead guilty,” he said.
“I will speak at the right time and the right forum, once I have all the information in front of me, and after receiving legal advice,” Lugtu said.
“The charges against me have been filed in court, they have to be tried in court, and then they have to be decided in court. Not on social media or Internet, that is not the proper avenue.”
The ACWW is a non-profit society that publishes a literary magazine called Ricepaper
. According to the current ACWW board, during Lugtu’s tenure as treasurer from 2008 to 2010, board members grew increasingly concerned about the society’s finances.
Jim Wong-Chu, ACWW founder and executive director, said such a situation can “devastate” a non-profit organization like his.