The former middle school treasurer is accused of stealing at least $10,000.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The state is not finished with Rosemary Hudak of Austintown, accused of stealing money from Frank Ohl Middle School in Austintown, where she once worked as treasurer.
Just as Hudak, 51, appeared Wednesday before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing on her guilty plea, she discovered she was about to be indicted again on a more serious charge for the same missing money.
She pleaded guilty in October 2004 to a fifth-degree felony count of theft, which was reduced in a plea agreement from a fourth-degree felony count of theft in office.
Robert Andrews, an assistant county prosecutor, said the state intended to present to a grand jury a case for an indictment on the original theft-in-office charge, which carries a slightly longer prison term of up 18 months. She could have been sentenced up to one year in prison on the fifth-degree theft charge.
Her lawyer, Samuel Amendolar, asked Judge Sweeney to allow Hudak to withdraw her guilty plea. Amendolar argued that appellate courts have ruled that in a case of another indictment being filed based on the same conduct to which a person had entered a plea, a defendant can withdraw that plea. The judge granted his motion.
School money stolen
Austintown police have estimated Hudak took about $10,000. Police have said Hudak confessed taking about $50 daily between December 2003 and February 2004. She also is accused of taking some money collected at school athletic events. Hudak does not have a prior criminal record.
Atty. Jan O'Halloran, who represents the school district, said the district wants to make sure it gets all its money back from Hudak. She added that a message also must be sent for young children who have been following the case and others "that if you take money that doesn't belong to you, you have to pay a penalty."