A 48-year-old Le Roy resident who stole $6,172 from her employer will spend five years on probation and serve 60 days in jail on an intermittent basis.
Doris M. Castle, of 8325 Vallance Road, was employed by the YWCA in a daycare program. She expressed remorse for her theft in a letter she wrote to her former boss and read in Genesee County Court this morning.
"Words canot begin to convey how truly sorry I am," Castle said. "I loved my job. I loved the kids. You're the best boss I've ever had and you were my friend. I never planned to steal anything, but I was so desperate for money and every time I thought I could put the money back, something else would happen and I would end up needing more.
"...I know I made restitution, but I know I can't repair what you think of me or what you might think of other employees in the future and whether you can really trust them. As for the children, I know I let them down. Everything I tried to teach them about being a good citizen, I ruined by my actions."
Her supervisor, Patricia McAllister, read a statement emphasizing the trust Castle broke by stealing money and the strain it put on the YWCA to meet its financial obligations.
"She was trusted to provide the children with security, guidance and a role model they can look up to," McAllister said. "I question that role model at this time. I think it was one of the 7-year-old boys who came to me one day and said, 'I don't get it. I don't get it. What was Dory thinking. It wasn't her money.' I had no response whatsoever."
Judge Robert C. Noonan said he believed Castle was sincerely contrite, but added that maintaining public trust in the judicial system was important in embezzlement cases.
"When the public sees somebody who stole a candy bar, or more commonly a DVD or CD, from Walmart going to jail on a petit larceny charge for something that is less than $25 in value, and then they see somebody facing a much more serious charge in a case involving a lot more money getting a community-based sentence, the public has trouble figuring that out," Noonan said.
Noonan went on to explain that the main difference in the cases are the individuals involved. With the typical shoplifting case, the defendant is somebody in-and-out of the legal system, while most embezzlement cases, such as this one, involve somebody who has never been in trouble before.
"I don't fear somebody like you, especially with five years probation, will return to the criminal justice system," Noonan said, "but I do feel there is an importance to protect the credibility of the criminal justice system."
For that reason, Noonan said, he was imposing the maximum sentence available under what he characterized as a favorable plea agreement negotiated by Castle's attorney, William Harper.