POMEROY — A former treasurer of the Eastern Music Boosters was sentenced to community control on Wednesday after pleading guilty last month to the theft of funds from the organization.
Lisa B. Victory, 40, of Coolville, appeared in Meigs County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday morning to be sentenced on the fifth-degree felony charge of theft.
Plea negotiations in the case initially recommended Victory be placed on diversion, a recommendation which Judge I. Carson Crow stated at both the plea hearing and the sentencing hearing he would not accept.
Crow sentenced Victory to five years of community control with a 12 month underlying sentence. Additionally, she is to serve 45 days of local incarceration, serving time on the weekends as arranged with the jail. She is also not permitted to handle funds for any organizations.
Prior to sentencing, Eastern Music Booster President Jenny Ridenour read a statement which was prepared by the Music Boosters, along with the school administrations.
“We feel that the amount that was taken from the music boosters was much more because cash from concerts, concession sales, and popcorn sales has no record of being deposited into the account,” said Ridenour.
“Due to the lack of funds during Mrs. Victory’s involvement with the music boosters, the music program could not participate in contests like, solo and ensemble, and other large group contests. Equipment was not repaired or replaced. The marching band could not go to away football games. Music trips were paid for by parents or students did not go.”
“The kids do not realize what you (Victory) have taken from them and how much you have cost them. They are the victims. You may think by paying the restitution back and saying you are sorry will amend your wrongs, but God will have the final say,” read the statement.
The music boosters also requested the records which were part of the investigation be returned to them, which is to be done after the appeal period passes.
Refuge Church Pastor Jordan Bradford addressed the court on behalf of Victory, stating that he has noticed a difference in her attitude in the past year and a half, noting that she came out and said what had happened and had apologized. She has also spent additional time volunteering at the church, said Bradford.
Victory briefly addressed the court, apologizing for her actions.
Defense attorney Michael Huff stated that up until sentencing Crow could still change his mind regarding diversion.
Huff said that Victory has always expressed remorse, which was shown in the pre-sentence investigation report, and that she realizes the consequences and the damage she has caused in the community.
As Christ following people there has to be a restorative process, said Huff of Victory. He stated that community service would be part of that restorative process.
Huff stated that Victory’s family gave her a loan to pay the restitution, money that she will have to pay back to them. Additionally, she and her husband had been foster parents and have had that license suspended for one year and the children removed as a result of the case. She has also lost her work study program at WVU-P. Huff noted that this has taken a hit to the income of the family.
Victory has already paid restitution to the music boosters in the amount of $4,696, plus $1,650 in fees to the law enforcement trust fund for the investigation cost.
Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews