By Ed Runyan
Rose M. Wilson, a 20-year city employee with no previous criminal record, will not serve jail time for stealing $22,800 while working as a clerk at the Warren Police Department.
Instead, Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ordered her to serve 60 days of electronically monitored house arrest and five years of probation. She also was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.
She could be ordered to spend up to three years in prison if she violates her probation.
The $22,800 will be removed from her Public Employee Retirement System pension, said Chris Becker, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.
Wilson, who worked in the police records department, pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree felony theft in office for taking the money starting in late 2009 from a safe she alone used.
The charge could have resulted in up to five years in prison. Becker told Judge Logan the prosecutor’s office recommended incarceration of some type. This is a standard recommendation for any government employee convicted of theft, Becker said.
The safe was used to hold the fees — most of it cash — that the police department collected from anyone needing to retrieve a towed car. The fee was enacted by Warren City Council in 2009.
The $75 fee was collected at the police department dispatching center. A shift commander was responsible for depositing the money with Wilson. Another police department official then periodically deposited those funds with the Warren Auditor’s Office.
“This is your only brush with the law,” Judge Logan said to Wilson before sentencing. “It’s a rather large one.”
Wilson gave a statement before sentencing, apologizing to her family, friends and co-workers. “I know what I did was wrong,” she said. She singled out the pain she has caused her father, her children and co-workers.
“To Chief Bowers and the Warren Police Department, I am truly sorry. There is nothing to justify what I did, and I will carry the shame for the rest of my life,” she said.
Wilson, 47, of Bonnie Brae Avenue, resigned Nov. 8, shortly after an internal-affairs investigation identified her as the source of the missing towing fees.