DELAWARE, Ohio – With her troop members watching, a former Girl Scout leader was sentenced to 60 days in jail for stealing nearly $5,000 they had raised through cookie sales and other fundraisers.
The judge told Teresa Wickline at her sentencing Monday that she could serve her jail time on weekends. Wickline, 42, also must repay the troop $4,900 within six months and perform 150 hours of community service.
One girl wiped away tears as Wickline faced the young victims — wearing their green vests and sashes — in the first row of the gallery.
"I'd like to apologize to the girls and to the parents for not keeping better records," she told them.
Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Duncan Whitney told Wickline that she wasn't in court just because of bookkeeping problems. "It has been very hard for you to acknowledge that this was not just a bad decision," he said. "This was a criminal act."
Wickline, of Lewis Center, pleaded guilty to a theft charge in March.
Authorities said Wickline used the money to pay for personal expenses, including her cell phone bill. "Five thousand dollars is a lot of Thin Mints," Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost said last year after she was charged.
The troop's bookkeeping came under scrutiny after a review found just $8 in its checking account, though more than $5,000 had been raised since 2001. The scouts' regional council discovered bounced checks from the account and alerted authorities.