Tri States Public Radio Staff
Health Department Worker
Wed June 19, 2013
Public Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft
Penny Thompson, 49, of 655 N Dean St in Bushnell, pleaded guilty to theft and official misconduct for taking money intended for the McDonough County Health Department, where she worked as the business manager.
In exchange for the plea, Thompson was sentenced to six months in jail, two years probation, and was ordered to pay $17,011.22 in restitution.
Thompson originally faced six counts of theft for taking an estimated $67,000 between May 13, 2010 and July 17, 2012. The health department’s insurance company will cover part of the loss.
Thompson posted $7,500 bond last August, and much of that money will be put toward restitution.
In pleading guilty before Judge Bill Poncin, Thompson avoided a jury trial and the potential for a prison sentence of 4 – 15 years plus a $25,000 fine. The plea also disqualified her from receiving her municipal pension.
The theft was discovered during an audit of health department accounts.
Thompson declined to comment on the crime during Wednesday’s hearing at the McDonough County Courthouse.