Janet M. Griffith receives two years in the county’s Intermediate Punishment Program

Last updated: September 04. 2013 10:12AM - 3096 Views
SHEENA DELAZIO sdelazio@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE – A Nanticoke woman charged with taking $16,000 from Luzerne County Community College was sentenced Tuesday to two years in the county’s Intermediate Punishment Program.

Janet M. Griffith, 52, of Center Street, was sentenced on a single count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds by County Judge David Lupas.

Lupas said the first six months of Griffith’s sentence must be served on house arrest with an electronic monitor.

Griffith, who pleaded guilty to the charge in July, must pay a $5,000 deductible to Luzerne County Community College and $11,809 to the college’s insurance carrier.

After an investigation by Nanticoke police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, investigators said Griffith took about $16,000 while working as a secretary at the school’s Public Safety Training Institute.

According to the criminal complaint, Nanticoke Detective Capt. William Shultz spoke on Feb. 22 with the college’s director of security, Bill Barrett, who said an accounting firm had completed an annual 2011 audit for the training institute and discrepancies were uncovered regarding missing funds.

The institute, which opened in 2008, trains police officers, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and truck drivers in a variety of courses.

A call to the college seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.

An accountant reported to the college that the missing money came from student tuition payments that had been made in cash.

On March 9, Luzerne County Detective Lt. Gary Capitano became involved in the investigation and spoke with college President Thomas Leary, who said Griffith was responsible for collecting fees for many courses and for taking the payments to the finance office every day.

According to the college, Griffith was hired as a custodian in August 2007 and moved into the secretary position in December 2008. In October 2011, Griffith was moved back to the custodian position before she was placed on unpaid suspension in March 2012.

She was formally terminated from employment when she was arraigned on charges in November. Her annual salary had been $23,585.

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