Former Mills Clerk/Treasurer Ordered To Pay $60,000 Restitution, Serve Time At Casper Re-entry Center
The former clerk/treasurer of Mills, Lisa Whetstone, must pay restitution of $60,000 she embezzled during 20 months, plus spend about nine months at the Casper Re-entry Center, a judge ruled Monday.
District Attorney Mike Blonigen told Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey that Whetstone's actions violated the public trust.
"We cannot have public officials (receiving) public money and turning that to their own use," Blonigen said at the end of the three-and-a-half hour sentencing hearing.
However, Whetstone adamantly and tearfully asserted she never took that money, but did admit misusing and later reimbursing expenses incurred on a town-issued credit card.
Forgey agreed with Blonigen and the 90-minute testimony of a state auditor Brittany Leasure that Whetstone was responsible for about $64,000 in missing cash July 2013 to September 2015.
The auditor said about $4,000 of that amount probably was taken from the petit cash box at the town hall and there may have been questions about how that amount came to be missing, so that amount was deducted from the restitution order.
After hearing a victim impact statement from a Mills employee and two character witnesses for Whetstone, Forgey sentenced Whetstone to a suspended three- to five-year term at the Wyoming Women's Correctional Center.
He also ordered her to serve a five year-term of supervised probation, and complete the felony offender rehabilitation program at the Casper Re-entry Center while working to pay the restitution. He ordered her to pay $500 a month toward that end.
Whetstone pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of using a public credit card for personal purposes.