BOWLING GREEN - As representatives of the Eastwood Youth Soccer Association looked on, a former Wood County sheriff's deputy who stole more than $32,000 from the organization was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay full restitution.
Patrick Carr, 31, of Waterville, also was placed on electronic home monitoring for 90 days by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry and community control sanctions for five years. In addition, the judge ordered Carr to perform 350 hours of community service.
Judge Mayberry, who said he wanted to punish Carr but also make sure the soccer association was repaid, said the jail time could be served on weekends so Carr could continue to attend classes at Owens Community College and be home with his children while his wife was at work.
In July, Carr pleaded guilty to theft, a fourth-degree felony. As the association's treasurer, he had written himself personal checks, took cash from its account, and transferred some funds to an out-of-state bank account over a three-year period. "By your actions, you have created a lot of damage to that organization that will have to be repaired," Judge Mayberry told Carr.
Carr repaid $18,000 to the association in July and now must pay the remaining $14,716.17 within the next five years.
Association members said Carr hurt more than the group's treasury.
Lynette Oberhouse, a parent and coach, told the court Carr had "taught this next generation of children that you can't trust the people you're supposed to be able to trust."
Marcia Speck, vice president of the soccer association, said Carr's deception was "devastating" to the group, which provides an opportunity to children of all skill levels to play soccer for the fun of it.
She said the group's bank account had a balance of $6.14 when she took over in January and more than $10,000 in outstanding bills. Liability insurance was not paid, and coaches had not undergone the required background checks.
"During all that time, I looked for remorse. I looked for an apology," she said. "I did see regret, but I didn't see anything close to an apology for what he did - only a wish that he wasn't in the situation he was in."
Mrs. Speck said it was particularly difficult to explain to her 10-year-old son what Carr had done. "His shoulders dropped. His face fell, and he said to me, 'But he's a policeman,'•" she recalled.
Carr, who had been employed by the sheriff's office since 1999, resigned in April after he was placed on unpaid leave because of his indictment on the criminal charge.
He apologized yesterday for the damage and problems he caused the association. "What I did was wrong, unacceptable, and I did it," Carr said.
The court's dockets have been full of theft cases over the past year ranging from a long-time employee of a Perrysburg Township company who embezzled more than $1 million from the business to the former commander of the Tontogany American Legion post who stole $35,000 from the post.
"Yes, there seems to be a rash of embezzlement and theft offenses this past year in Wood County by individuals in positions of trust," county Prosecutor Ray Fischer said after yesterday's sentencing.
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