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|Monzo Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge; County Board Accepts Resignation
|UPDATED 4/29/10 It won't be official until Tuesday, but a Knox County Elected official will step down as part of the consequences she'll pay for allegedly stealing money from the Knox County Democratic Party.
Knox County Recorder Paula Monzo was in court Wednesday morning for what was thought to be a hearing on a potential guilty plea for a felony charge of Theft Over $300.
But as it turns out, according to Special Prosecutor Chuck Zalar, a deal was reached where Monzo instead pleaded guilty to a Misdemeanor Charge of Theft Under $300.
This, despite the fact that Monzo is accused in police reports of taking $3,500 from the local Democrats over a one-year period while she was its treasurer, ending last November.
As part of the plea deal, if approved, Monzo will resign as Recorder as of this Friday afternoon, and will pay $4,200 in restitution -- $2,000 at the time she's officially sentenced, and the rest later, depending on whether or not the state goes forward and pays her a stipend check despite its own budget crisis.
Monzo would also be sentenced to 14-days in jail with credit for two days already served, and must continue to undergo drug treatment, since she claimed at the time of her arrest she had a cocaine habit.
Judge Stephen Mathers tentatively okayed the deal, but said he would hold a hearing Tuesday morning to finalize it, depending on if the Knox County Board formally approves Monzo's resignation Wednesday night.
Board members ended up doing just that, and also selected Carol Hallam to replace Monzo on an interim basis until a Democratic Party caucus can be held.
Hallam is the deputy recorder, and ran against Monzo for the top job in 2008.
|04 29 10 by Newsroom
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