A Missouri public administrator is currently facing charges of stealing over $500 and abuse of a person receiving health care — both felonies. According to reports, the woman took more than $10,000 out of various trust accounts from January 2011 to September 2012 while she was a business office manager at a nursing home.
According to reports, the woman would draft the checks and make them payable to cash or mark them to be use as petty cash, but the prosecutor claims the woman took the money for herself instead. The charges include 18 improperly cashed checks over four trust accounts and state that the nursing home residents did not consent to the withdrawals
One reason this case has gotten so much media attention is because during the same time period as the alleged thefts, the woman ran for and won the position of Washington County Public Administrator. According to reports, the woman will remain in her position unless she is found or pleads guilty. The hearing is currently scheduled for Feb. 26.
Felony charges are very serious, even when they don't involve violent crimes. Even if a public servant is able to maintain his or her position during a criminal investigation, the person's reputation can be severely damaged. Understanding all of the defense options, from pleading not guilty and going to trial to pleading to lesser charges, is crucial for defendants in public positions. The pros and cons of each options must be taken into consideration, along with the evidence in the case, to determine which strategy will be most beneficial for the defendant moving forward.
Source: Daily Journal, "Public administrator charged with stealing" Renee Bronaugh, Dec. 19, 2014