BANGOR, Maine — A former employee at Community Health and Counseling Services, 42 Cedar St., was sentenced Tuesday in Penobscot County Superior Court to five years with all but six months suspended and two years of probation.
Amy McElroy, 42, of Carmel also was ordered to pay $34,600 in restitution toward the more than $127,000 she was charged with stealing, Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said after the sentencing.
McElroy, who was responsible for depositing checks and cash paid to CHCS for services, stole the cash payments, Roberts said.
“We think that the sentence imposed was a fair sentence,” said Richard Hartley, McElroy’s Bangor attorney. “Ms. McElroy wanted to take responsibility. She wanted to pay restitution to the best of the ability of her family.”
Hartley said that his client used the money to pay household bills and expenses.
“She did not spend the money on big-ticket items,” he said.
McElroy was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to theft by unauthorized taking, according to Roberts. She admitted stealing the money over a three-year period beginning in 2005 and ending in August 2008 when she was caught, the prosecutor said.
She was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury in November for a more serious felony because of the amount of money involved, according to a story previously published in the Bangor Daily News.
The charge was reduced from a Class B to Class C crime during plea negotiations, Roberts said.
For a Class C crime, McElroy faced a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If she had been convicted of Class B theft, she would have faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
McElroy began serving her sentence at Penobscot County Jail immediately after her sentencing hearing, Roberts said.
Efforts to reach CHCS were unsuccessful late Tuesday afternoon.
The loss most likely has been covered by the company’s insurance policy.