POMEROY — On the recommendation of a few village officials, Laura L. Curtis was granted judicial release on Friday afternoon.
Curtis, 31, of Rutland, was back in Meigs County Common Pleas Court just four months after being sentenced to a three-year prison term after officials with the Village of Rutland recommended she be given a second chance. The former Village of Rutland Fiscal Officer had been serving a 36-month prison term from theft in office.
Rutland Mayor Lowell Vance and Council Member April Burke were in court on Friday to represent the village as Judge Christopher Tenoglia summarized the statement recently given by the victim (the village).
Tenoglia said that they (representatives of the village) wanted to give Curtis another chance, saying she should be forgiven and given the chance to make amends.
The judge went on to compliment the representatives of the village for remembering that occasionally everyone deserves a second chance.
It was also noted that this was not the sentiment of everyone in the village and community.
According to Tenoglia, restitution payments to the village have begun. He ordered that those payments continue on at least a monthly basis and that Curtis forfeit $6,000 from a retirement fund to the village.
Curtis apologized to the community and stated that she would never do anything to jeopardize being with her family again, a statement her mother — speaking in support of her daughter — also emphasized.
During sentencing, Curtis was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution to the village.
In granting Curtis’ release, Tenoglia placed her on five years’ community control, ordered her to complete community service hours and find employment.
Curtis was sentenced on Aug. 20, 2012, after pleading guilty to the third degree felony in June.
Curtis was indicted in late February on the single charge of grand theft in office. The indictment stated that, during her time as fiscal officer (a public official), Curtis committed a theft offense, while using her office in committing the offense, and took property belonging to the village. The indictment states the value of the property or services involved is between $7,500 and $150,000.
The offense occurred between 2009 and August 2011, according court documents. Curtis was appointed to the position of fiscal officer for the village on June 10, 2008 according to council minutes.
Curtis was represented by Public Defender David Baer in the case. She had been housed at the Ohio Reformatory for Women since Aug. 23.