Ex-township worker pleads guilty to embezzlement
A former employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a township in the region.
The Herald-Palladium and South Bend Tribune report Christine Mahar, formerly with Cass County's Howard Township, was ordered Friday to pay restitution, fines and costs after the plea, which allowed her to avoid jail. She also was sentenced to three years probation.
Authorities say the embezzlement of roughly $28,000 from the township took place between January 2013 and August, when it was discovered, and she was fired.
The money was intended for tax payments, rentals and other purposes.
Mahar apologized and expressed remorse, and her attorney called it a "crime of desperation" after her husband lost his job.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz and other officials said she violated the public trust and deserves jail.
Circuit Judge Michael Dodge said he understands, but contends restitution is more important.