The former director of the Maine AIDS Alliance, an umbrella group for 13 organizations, has pleaded guilty to theft, and the state has moved to drop charges of misuse of entrusted property and falsifying private records. On Friday in Kennebec County superior court, Randall Norcross agreed to a maximum sentence of three years in prison, with all but six months suspended, and four years of probation. Assistant attorney general Michael Colleran alleged that Norcross wrote 23 unauthorized checks to cover personal expenses between September 1999 and December 2001, when he left the Augusta-based MAA. Norcross told justice S. Kirk Studstrup that he had taken the position at MAA at a low salary and was unable to take the four weeks of vacation he had negotiated because he was the sole full-time employee. Norcross said he began writing the checks in lieu of his vacation time. Sharon Pray, an MAA board member who took over as interim director after Norcross, said his actions damaged the financial integrity of the alliance and produced "deep feelings of betrayal among those with AIDS." She added, "Mr. Norcross has sullied the public face and respectable name of Maine AIDS Alliance."