I got an interesting e-mail Thursday after writing a story about embezzlement allegations against a former Chickasha employee, who was not prosecuted after she agreed to pay restitution to the city.
A reader in Midwest City applauded the move as an alternative to throwing another person into Oklahoma’s crowded prison system, a result that likely would have made it difficult or impossible for the city to collect restitution.
An excerpt of David Hanson’s thoughts on the issue:
There must be some way for an individual to pay restitution and have a “non criminal” record that shows his/her desire to admit to a mistake and take responsibility for their actions. Maybe this could be accomplished by making restitution and signing a official document making this incident “legal evidence” in any future criminal activity. I know this strategy needs to be examined in detail, but maybe it is a start.
I hope someone will continue to pursue other ways to solve problems, not only in city government, but for our country as well.
Chickasha officials have decided the decision not to forward former court clerk Debbie Pool’s case to prosecutors was made in the city’s best interest, but directed CIty Manager Larry Shelton to notify the district attorney’s office if a municipal employee is suspected of a crime in the future.
What do you think? Did Chickasha officials handle things the right way or should they have allowed the criminal justice system to have the final say?