LIMA — A tearful Kimberly Hall told the court she stole money from Shawnee schools and a sports booster club to pay off people who made threats to family members related to her son’s drug addiction issues.
But Hall, a former facilities administrative assistant at Shawnee schools who stole more than $50,000 during her tenure there and in her position as the treasurer of the Shawnee Baseball Boosters Association, nonetheless apologized to family, friends and former co-workers during her sentencing hearing Monday morning.
Calling hers an “odd” and “very unusual case,” Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed sentenced Hall to two years on probation and ordered her to make restitution totaling $41,851 to the school and the booster group. Hall has already repaid a portion of the money stolen, according to her attorney, William Kluge.
Kluge addressed the court briefly Monday prior to sentence being passed. He said Hall took money that was not rightfully hers “because of her son and his drug issues. She attempted to ease the burden on him and to make sure he was not injured. She understands that this was a violation of trust and that she shouldn’t have done it, even though there were extenuating circumstances.”
Hall told Reed that she and her family were receiving “threatening phone calls” related to her son’s drug addiction.
“I didn’t want him to get hurt. As a mother, I guess we’ll do anything we can to protect our children,” she said.
Reed said the threats made to Hall’s children make her case unusual, “but it’s pretty obvious you made wrong decisions, even though your parental interests kicked in. And you’ve got to be held responsible for those decisions.”
The judge sentenced Hall to two years on probation, ordered her to perform 80 hours of community service and required that $41,851 in restitution be made to the affected parties.
Hall, 54, pleaded guilty in September to charges of theft of office, a third-degree felony, and grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. Prosecutors dismissed a third-degree felony charge of money laundering.
Hers was the second criminal case involving theft from Shawnee schools this year. In February, Heather O’Connor pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft for stealing $42,141 from the Shawnee Middle School Parent Teacher Committee and $9,277 from the Little Indians Volleyball Association. In March she was sentenced to five years on probation, 40 hours of community service and was ordered to make full restitution.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.