Former LeCroy bookkeeper sentenced to seven months in prison

Published 4:29 pm Friday, November 14, 2014

The former LeCroy Career Technical Center employee who pleaded guilty to two charges involving theft was sentenced on Wednesday to seven months in prison and three years of probation.

Temika Varner Winters, 38, of Clanton, appeared in court Wednesday morning in front of Chilton County Circuit Judge Ben A. Fuller for her sentencing.

Fuller sentenced her to 32 months in prison on each count, to run concurrent.

Her sentence was suspended in accordance with the provision of the Split Sentence Act, and her minimum period of confinement in prison is seven months on each count, to run concurrent.

She will also be fined $10,000 for each count, and is required to pay the costs associated with her case.

Winters, the former bookkeeper at the LeCroy Career Technical Center, entered a guilty plea in July to one count of theft of property first degree and one count of ethics violations.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss 16 counts of possession of a forged instrument second degree in exchange for a guilty plea to two of the charges involving theft.

Winters told Fuller in July that she used her position as bookkeeper for personal gain.

She was arrested Nov. 26, 2013, after the 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation of suspected theft at the request of the Clanton Police Department due to a conflict of interest.

At the time of her arrest, prosecutors said Winters’ husband was an officer with the Clanton Police Department so the district attorney’s office brought in a special investigator to look into the case.

The investigation started after an employee at LeCroy noticed some unusual accounting practices.

Winters stole more than $50,000 from the school over an 18-month period.

At the time of her arrest, prosecutors said in this particular case, forged instruments referred to checks.

In addition to serving seven months in prison, Fuller ordered Winters pay restitution to the Chilton County Board of Education in the amount of $60,675.

Chilton County Board of Education Superintendent Dave Hayden stood several inches away from Winters as she received her sentence in court.

Hayden addressed the judge prior to Winters’ sentencing and said she had stolen from the “kids, and BOE.”

“She has betrayed the public’s trust,” Hayden said.

Winters will be required to submit monthly payments as part of her restitution, and if she misses a payment, the judge can revoke her probation.