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Former DOT employee sentenced to jail time in theft case

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Nov. 19, 2010 at 8:37 am |
November 21, 2010 1:28 pm

A former state Department of Transportation employee accused of stealing more than $74,000 in unearned overtime pleaded guilty to criminal charges and was sentenced to jail time earlier this month.

Rachel R. Taylor, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree theft Nov. 3 in Pierce County Superior Court. Judge Gary Steiner sentenced her to nine months in Pierce County Jail.

The state hired Taylor, a Tenino resident, in 2004 to work as a senior secretary. One of her jobs was to enter theĀ  time sheets at DOT’s Lakewood office into the agency’s timekeeping system. Prosecutors alleged she changed several entries on her timecards between 2006 and 2009, collecting money for hours she never worked.

The Transportation Department caught the unearned overtime last year during a routine review of overtime reports. The agency and the Washington State Patrol conducted an investigation.

Taylor told investigators she had entered the overtime hours into the computer because she needed money for bills that were out of control. She resigned her position last year in lieu of being fired.

The state Department of Transportation sued Taylor in Thurston County Superior Court. Last month, she agreed to repay the state more than $74,000 plus interest, investigation costs and attorney fees, the state announced today.

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