Woman who stole $17K from fire department avoids jailPublished 4:58pm Sunday, August 5, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — A woman who embezzled more than $17,000 from the Marcellus Fire Department will spend no time in jail as long as she repays the stolen funds.
Nicole Rae Olsen, 34, of Marcellus, was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $17,051 in restitution to the fire department Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.
Olsen, who has resigned as fire department treasurer, stole the money over a period from September 2011 to December 2011. The court heard Olsen took the money to pay for household expenses with the intention of paying it back.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” said Prosecutor Victor Fitz.
“The road to $17,051 begins with one step and she needs to start paying this back dollar by dollar.”
Judge Michael Dodge said he thought long and hard whether to give jail time to Olsen, a lifetime resident of Marcellus.
“This crime, I’m sure, has brought significant shame and embarrassment on you and your family in the community and you have to live with that every day,” Dodge said.
Dodge ordered Olsen to spend 90 days in jail with credit for one day served, but suspended the remaining 89 days.
“It is my sincere hope that you successfully complete probation and make the restitution and you don’t ever have to worry about serving time in jail,” Dodge said.
Olsen apologized for her actions and said she would take the necessary steps to right her wrong.
The money was embezzled from the department’s millage account, which is used to pay public safety crews for their services and acquire life-saving equipment.
Olsen had no prior criminal record, making her sentence guideline range low, from zero to six months.
Tags: cass county courts