HOLLIDAYSBURG - An Altoona woman who was ordered to repay more than $84,000 she stole from her employer told a judge Monday she couldn't afford the $670-per-month payment plan set up by the county's Department of Fines and Costs.
Blair County President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva gave the woman, Mary K. Dodson, a break after hearing that she is down on her luck and suffering from serious health problems.
The judge cut the monthly payments to $40, emphasizing that there has to be some recognition of the crimes Dodson committed and the restitution she owes F. Patrick Madden and Madden Boiler Works of Hollidaysburg.
Dodson, 49, made an emotional plea to the judge, stating she has lost everything, including her family, and admitting she betrayed her friend and employer, Madden.
"Pat was my friend, and I betrayed him. ... All I want is to be forgiven," she said.
"To lose everything I have is the worst thing in the world. ... I am trying to make amends with everybody. I am sorry," Dodson said.
She said her only income is a monthly disability payment, adding she is suffering from serious medical problems.
Kopriva agreed that Dodson is suffering from "an overwhelming medical condition that requires a tremendous cost."
Blair County Assistant District Attorney Russell Montgomery said he expected some reduction in payments, but he entered an objection because he wanted to make sure the victim would receive priority when it comes to the repayment of funds.
He asked that the restitution go directly to Madden each month rather than be split several ways.
An order imposed in early June by Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan ordered Dodson to make restitution of $45,000 to Madden, $38,344 to Erie Insurance Co., which represented its reimbursement to the company for its loss, and another $1,250 to Traveler's Insurance Co.
Dodson, who was placed on probation for 10 years by Sullivan, handed over a check for $11,000 on the morning of her sentencing.
Kopriva said the case was "a tragic situation all the way around." The question, she said, was how to restore Madden for his personal loss.
Attorney Jeffrey A. Muriceak was representing Madden, who was in court but did not speak.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-07468.