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A former employee at the Lucas County jail who embezzled as much as $700 a day to pay bills and support a drug habit was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to probation.
Nora Wallace, 33, was ordered by Judge Denise Ann Dartt to serve four years on community control. She also was placed on electronic monitoring for the first 90 days of the sentence.
Wallace, of 1811 Annabelle Drive, was convicted May 31 of attempted theft for stealing $65,370 from December through May while collecting money from inmates booked into the jail. Judge Dartt said Wallace would receive a one-year prison sentence if she failed to comply with the community control requirements.
The embezzlement occurred while she worked for Intellitech Corp., a private firm that the county contracted to collect the
"pay-to-stay fee" from inmates processed at the jail.
Sheriff's Detective Rob Sarahman, who conducted the investigation, said Wallace admitted taking $400 to $700 a day, and that she used the money to pay bills and buy drugs.
In court, Judge Dartt ordered Wallace to make full restitution to her former employer. "That is a significant amount of money," Judge Dartt said.
Authorities became suspicious about Wallace when they found discrepancies in the number of inmates booked into the jail and money being collected through the program.
An audit showed $18,000 to $20,000 a month was being collected when it should have been $25,000 to $30,000 a month. Wallace was fired in May by Intellitech after she confessed to Detective Sarahman.
County officials said Intellitech, based in Poland, Ohio, near Youngstown, cooperated in the investigation and has agreed to reimburse the county for the loss caused by Wallace's embezzlement. The company operates pay-to-stay programs in jails statewide.