Worker pleads guilty to theft of city funds Woman gets house arrest and must repay $21,219

September 20, 1997|By Walter F. Roche Jr. | Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF

A veteran city employee in charge of tabulating receipts at the city's auto impoundment lot on Pulaski Highway pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing $21,219 that had been paid by

motorists reclaiming their cars.

Brenda Locklear, 40, entered the guilty plea before Circuit Judge Paul A. Smith. He sentenced her to 18 months of house arrest and five years of probation. Under the sentence she also must pay back the stolen money at the rate of $200 per month.

Locklear's attorney, Edward C. Middlebrooks, told Smith that his client found another job after being fired from the job she had held with the city for more than 10 years.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Gary Honick, Locklear stole the money over four months ending in early March.

Honick told Smith that Locklear's colleagues became concerned because of a sudden change in her behavior late last year. He said that Locklear, previously attentive, was observed falling asleep and acting erratically at work.

Eventually, he said, her superiors ordered an audit and discovered a series of discrepancies between the cash collected each day and the amount being deposited after Locklear's tabulations.

Locklear, who is to begin serving her sentence next week, apologized to the judge for her actions and said she was going through personal crises, including a divorce, at the time.

She had worked for the city since 1981 and was drawing an annual salary of $28,697 at the time she was suspended without pay in early March. She was indicted on the theft charges a week later. Locklear was an employee of the Department of Public Works, which runs the city impoundment lot.

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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