FAIRBANKS — The former court administrator who stole $237,000 worth of bail money was sentenced to two years in jail Monday.
Katherine L. Turner, 40, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony theft in October.
Monday’s hearing took place in the fifth-floor courtroom at the Rabinowitz Courthouse and was attended by many of Turner’s former colleagues.
Citing a need for strong condemnation for the betrayal of the public’s trust in the court system, Superior Court Judge Michael Jeffrey of Barrow set a three-year sentence, with one year suspended, and three years probation. The sentence was not harsher because Turner returned the money to the court before sentencing.
Turner worked as the district accounting supervisor for 11 years and was stealing from the bail account since 2007, according to the criminal investigation against her.
She was caught last summer when court administrator Ron Woods noticed irregularities in the bail accounts.
Woods attended Friday’s sentencing and said after the hearing that the court has improved its auditing procedures to make it easier to detect specific patterns.
Turner deposited $144,000 in the bail account before her indictment in August. The other $93,000 was returned before sentencing. Turner told Alaska State Troopers she used the money for “living expenses.”
She was ordered to report to jail June 1 to begin serving her sentence.