A Pulaski County judge says there will be no second chances for a former Little Rock School District bookkeeper…even though her felony theft conviction already follows two prior theft convictions (NOTE: Jones contacted KATV after this story aired to point out that while she was employed by the district and her job did involved record keeping, her job title at no time during her employment was bookkeeper).
We first told you about this case almost a year ago.
52 year-old Linda Jones has health problems for sure, and they probably helped get her probation instead of jail time.
But her real problem is an inclination to steal.
We were there when Linda Jones left the court room of Circuit Judge Barry Sims Friday after being sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to repay $9,000 to the Little Rock School District…money she stole from an education program for low income families.
She could have gotten 20 years in prison.
Jones had the authority to buy clothes and school supplies for the homeless and families in need.
Why Jones was trusted with a school district credit card given the fact that she was convicted of stealing from the school district in 1995 remains unclear (NOTE: Jones contacted KATV after this story aired to point out that her 1995 theft conviction occurred while she was employed at the school but did not involve stealing from the district. Her restitution of $12,000+ was to be paid to Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield. As of January 2012 it still had not been paid in full).
She got five years probation and was ordered to pay restitution in that case too.
The school district offered no comment to the court.
And Jones left without comment.
A year ago Jones emailed us some thoughts about the media coverage of her arrest and past convictions.
She said in part:
"I have family and associates now who really want nothing to do with me. I have done a lot of good things for a lot of people. But no one will care about that. Only what they see on TV or read in the papers. I just pray God will see me through these terrible times."
Back in 1995 the superintendent wanted Linda Jones fired following her theft conviction but the school board voted to keep her.
This time she retired before anyone had to make a decision.
Dr. Morris Holmes has not commented on this case, but he has reduced the number of district employees trusted with district credit cards.
Air date: January 28th, 2013
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