By joe gorman
A woman who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1,800 from the Struthers Little Wildcats youth football league last year said at her sentencing in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that her personal life was in a shambles when she took the money.
Lisa Farkas, 45, of Boardman, was sentenced Thursday to probation for a year by Judge Lou D’Apolito on the charge of theft.
Before she was sentenced, Farkas apologized to the organization and to Judge D’Apolito. She said at the time she had just gotten divorced and her father had died within the same month. She said she had worked with the organization for about 12 years.
“It was my real passion,” Farkas said. “I hit a real bump in my life. It was a bad path.”
Her attorney, Mattthew Giannini, said during the divorce process Farkas was associating with people she should not have been around and was smoking marijuana. When Judge D’Apolito asked her if she would pass a drug test if she had to take one, she said without hesitation she would. She said she has stopped associating with those people and does not do drugs anymore.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael McBride said the theft of about $4,000 occurred over a period of a few months in 2012. Another person was also charged in the case, and that matter was settled in Struthers Municipal Court.
Judge D’Apolito said he was concerned that the organization receives its money back, and Farkas did pay back all the money she owed, with the last check presented Thursday. McBride said the leaders of the organization could not be in court Thursday but they wanted restitution over prison time.
Judge D’Apolito said he could understand someone making a mistake, and he said Farkas has to work hard to get her reputation back. He said if she appears before him again she could receive a more stringent sentence for violating her probation.