Ex-employee faces jail if she does not return $22,000 to blind attorney
ELYRIA — A blind attorney’s former assistant who stole $22,478 while she worked for him avoided prison at her sentencing hearing Wednesday — at least for now.
|CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
|Nancy Haylor as she receives her sentence Wednesday from county Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers.|
If Nancy Haylor, 59, hasn’t started to repay the money she stole to attorney Carl Rose by December, county Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers said he will send her to the county jail for six months.
Ewers also warned Haylor, who pleaded guilty to three counts of theft in July, that she could do four years in prison if she fails to fully reimburse Rose or violates other conditions of her three-year probation period.
Haylor said nothing at Wednesday’s hearing, but her attorney, Bill Willis, said his client was scared and remorseful and planned to pay Rose back.
“She will make every effort to make him whole,” Willis said.
Rose urged Ewers to punish Haylor — who has a previous theft conviction for stealing from another employer — saying she violated his trust.
Ewers told Haylor he was sparing her from a stint behind bars because he wanted her to be able to repay Rose.
“We figure if you’re in jail, you can’t make restitution,” he said.
After the hearing, Rose agreed that was probably true, but he said he still had wanted Haylor to serve time.
“There’s no way I could be satisfied unless she handed me a check this morning,” he said.
Rose said he also worries that Haylor, who declined comment after the hearing, would try to take advantage of others to pay him back.
“She has a lot of senior citizen friends, and I don’t want her to scam them,” he said.
Rose hired Haylor in May 2005 at the request of the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, which places disabled workers with employers.
The agency never conducted a background check, pprompting Rose to file a lawsuit.
Rose said Haylor began stealing from him several months after she started working for him, but he didn’t discover the thefts until late 2006 when he demanded she return tax documents to him. During that dispute, he began digging into her background and discovered her earlier theft conviction.
Willis said Ewers sentence was fair, but it also made it clear that Haylor needs to pay back Rose or else.
“There’s some immediacy here,” he said. “She’s going to have to start making payments, or the judge is going to send her to jail.”
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.