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June 9, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: FORMER JEFFERSON COUNTY EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR THEFT

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that the former deputy treasurer of Jefferson County is now serving a county jail term of six months for her conviction of Theft in excess of $10,000 for stealing money from Jefferson County.

At a sentencing hearing in Mt. Vernon yesterday, Judge Joe Harrison ordered Brenda Pickett, 61, to begin serving the sentence immediately and to pay $175,629.50 in restitution to Jefferson County. He also sentenced her to four years probation. The sentence follows Pickett’s guilty plea on February 16, 2010. The Attorney General’s office prosecuted the case at the request of the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s office.

"Taxpayers expect that public officials perform their duties honestly,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Unfortunately, this former public official betrayed the trust that was granted to her.”

The case arose when County Treasurer Deborah Marlow notified the Illinois State Police that there were no actual deposits made for deposits slips prepared by Pickett in the amount of $858.35. Pickett later told investigators that she took money from the office from May through July 2008 and in previous years. A financial review established that Pickett took in excess of $10,000. A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Pickett in August 2008.

Deputy Bureau Chief Mary Bucaro and Assistant Attorney General David Navarro prosecuted the case for Attorney General Madigan’s Public Integrity Unit.

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