Garrett sheriff admits misuse of county funds

September 08, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND -- Garrett County Sheriff Randy Lee Sines has pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, admitting that he used county funds to pay for personal clothing and entertainment, the Office of the State Prosecutor announced yesterday.

Garrett County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III gave Sines a three-year suspended sentence and a $2,500 fine, and ordered him to pay the county at least $4,463.36 in restitution.

According to a statement of facts presented at Friday's Circuit Court hearing in Oakland, Sines had been warned by the county state's attorney in late 1995 not to use county money for personal expenses after questions were raised about charges he made on a trip to Texas. According to a county audit, a credit card obtained by Sines for authorized expenses of the sheriff's office had been used for $140.08 worth of Hard Rock Cafe merchandise in San Antonio, $55.92 in spending at Sea World of Texas, and purchases totaling $434.60 from a Geoffrey Beene clothing store.

Although told to submit detailed invoices with all future requests for county money, Sines twice wrote checks last year from accounts held by the sheriff's office to pay more than $2,000 on credit-card bills, the prosecutor's office said. Sines, 34, of Mountain Lake Park resigned Thursday.

Pub Date: 9/08/97

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