Former secretary gets six-month term in theft from school in Carroll

Pa. woman must pay restitution of $13,300

February 23, 2007|By Arin Gencer | Arin Gencer,sun reporter

A former Carroll County school financial secretary was sentenced to six months in a detention center and five years of supervised probation yesterday after being convicted of stealing thousands in student funds.

Linda Sprinkle, 54, of Hanover, Pa., was also ordered to pay about $13,300 in restitution to the Carroll County school system in monthly installments.

Sprinkle originally was charged with several counts of felony and misdemeanor theft and one count of misdemeanor embezzlement for siphoning money from school activities and events at Hampstead's Shiloh Middle School, including yearbook sales, a flower-sale fundraiser, a spring dance and field trips.

Standing before the court yesterday with her family in attendance, an emotional Sprinkle said, "I never took that money, and I have been a good person my whole life and I always try to do good by everybody."

Her attorney, Brian DeLeonardo, emphasized Sprinkle's dedication to her work and helping others.

"We ought to judge a person not by one instance, but by a lifetime," he said. He expressed concern about jail time in light of Sprinkle's health, noting her diabetes, osteoarthritis and back problems, and the medicines she takes for her conditions.

Before announcing the sentence, Carroll Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway said he recognized Sprinkle's health problems and her potential difficulties in paying restitution.

"I don't think those considerations can outweigh the need for there to be some consequence," Galloway said. He added that the "violation of trust" stemming from the theft had to be taken into account.

Galloway said he would give Sprinkle 30 days to report to the county detention center.

DeLeonardo said he would use that time to look for a place in Maryland where his client could reside to possibly serve her time through home detention, which Galloway said he would have considered had Sprinkle not lived in another state.

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