Tutu Organizer

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The organizer of a canceled appearance by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is now accused of taking thousands of dollars from a Montgomery law firm.

Montgomery police have been looking for the Reverend James Webb, also of Montgomery, on a charge of first-degree theft. He's accused of endorsing and cashing more than $23,348 in checks made out for advertising by the McPhillips and Shinbaum law firm, where he worked as public relations director.

The 57-year-old Webb organized a fund-raising appearance for Tutu in Montgomery in June of 2004, but it was canceled the day of the event. Webb announced that the South African leader would not appear because of a family emergency that required him to return home.

But a Tutu spokeswoman later said there was no family or personal emergency. She said logistical problems, including an unpaid hotel accommodation, caused the cancellation.

Attorney Julian McPhillips said Tuesday that he had trusted Webb because he was a licensed minister.