A former Riddle teacher accused of stealing more than $80,000 from the school district has been sentenced to a week in jail, 23 days on work crew, plus several other conditions of a plea agreement.
Jennifer Lynn, 47, of Medford, pleaded guilty on June 18, to nine counts of first-degree theft. She was sentenced Monday by Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Ann Marie Simmons.
Lynn is required to pay $82,839.78 in restitution that she stole from the district while she was a teacher. About $20,000 will be paid to the Riddle School District first and the rest will be paid to the insurance company that paid a portion of the loss. Lynn was required to pay $6,000 at sentencing Monday, according to the agreement. She is not be allowed to gamble or associate with gamblers and must surrender her computer or other electronic devices to authorities for inspection, if requested. She will also serve 60 months probation and agreed to undergo gambling evaluation and treatment.
Prosecutor Steve Hoddle of the Douglas County District Attorney’s office said the school district gave Lynn the ability to purchase supplies for her program with a credit card, but she started taking advantage of it by stealing money.
“A lot of these items appeared to be stuff that could or might be used for the summer school program, however for a lot of them, clearly, that was not the case,” said Hoddle.
Lynn’s defense attorney David Terry told Simmons that Lynn was in a difficult situation and under a lot of stress. She was a reading specialist and a highly valued school district employee, who commuted from Medford to Riddle every workday. But Terry said Lynn has accepted the blame for her actions from the start.
“Every single instance of her interaction with this case has been profoundly truthful and honest and accepting of her responsibilities,” Terry told the judge.
In reading the sentence, Judge Simmons said nobody wins in this case.
“There’s the loss to the school but also a loss to the students, because you’re not teaching anymore,” Simmons said. “You’ve had exemplary performances, so it has not worked out well for anybody.”
Lynn spoke to Simmons and said: “I’m very sorry for everything.”