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Weekend jail given for lag in restitution

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Since being sentenced in 2011 for embezzling over $5,000 from Pulaski County Treasurer’s Office, Natoya Janeice McCloud has only paid about 9 percent of the restitution ordered by the court.

Tuesday, McCloud was given a 15-day jail sentence for being in contempt of court; however, she will be allowed to serve the sentence on weekends so she doesn’t lose a job she just started.

“I think you’re in contempt, but I don’t want you to lose your job,” Judge Colin Gibb told McCloud Tuesday, adding that he thinks she should have made a better effort to pay restitution over the past year. She was ordered in January 2013 to serve three months of her original sentence for failing to make payments as required.

In December 2010, McCloud pleaded no contest to 10 counts of embezzlement. She received 10 years in prison, with nine years, six months suspended under the condition she pay restitution.

At that time, McCloud told Judge Gibb she was not guilty of the charges, but she did not want to take the risk of a jury trial that was requested by the prosecution. By pleading no contest she acknowledged evidence was sufficient for a finding of guilt without admitting guilt.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor told Judge Gibb Tuesday that McCloud didn’t make any payments after being released from jail last spring. When a “show cause” was issued during the summer to return her to court to explain the lack of payments, he said, she paid $105 on Aug. 1, $102 on Aug. 8, $30 on Sept. 30 and $40 on Oct. 31.

McCloud owed a total of $5,938 in restitution, according to Fleenor, and she still has an outstanding balance of $5,365.

Defense attorney Cynthia Dodge said McCloud entered into a payment plan with the circuit court clerk’s office to make payments at a rate of $25 per month beginning October 2012. As such, she contends, her client would only be $23 behind in payments.

Fleenor said the main purpose of the payment plan is to keep the defendant’s driver’s license from being suspended.

Gibb said the clerk’s office will take whatever payments they can get, but $25 per month isn’t the kind of repayment he had in mind.

Fleenor expressed concern that McCloud failed to make payments upon being released from jail and only decided to do so when the show cause was issued.

McCloud said she didn’t have a job to make payments then, but she is now working full time at a minimum wage job that will enable her to pay restitution.

She explained that she wasn’t able to find a job with her felony conviction, so she participated in a convicted felon workforce program when she got out of jail. Although she received no pay in the workforce program, it enabled her to find her current job.

Gibb asked Fleenor whether it would be beneficial to jail McCloud so that she loses her job and taxpayers have to foot the bill to house her while incarcerated.

Fleenor said he understands Judge Gibb’s dilemma, but failing to punish defendants for not paying restitution would take away their incentive to pay. He suggested McCloud be allowed to serve time on weekends so she can keep her job.

Besides imposing the 15-day weekend jail sentence, Judge Gibb also ordered that McCloud start paying $50 per month on her restitution beginning in March. He told her she will “never get it paid off” at $25 per month.

McCloud was given until March 7 to start serving the jail sentence so that she can make arrangements for care of her children while she is in jail since her husband works on weekends.

According to evidence in McCloud’s case the monetary thefts came to light when a number of county citizens came to the treasurer’s office between April and June 2009 to question delinquency notices they had received. They all produced receipts for their payments and most identified McCloud as the person who had taken their payments.

Virginia State Police Special Agent B.J. Svard determined each of the citizens had paid their taxes in cash and each had been provided computer-generated receipts bearing McCloud’s initials.

Comments

comments

8 Responses to Weekend jail given for lag in restitution

  1. Lucille

    February 5, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I think this whole matter is a bunch of crap.Mrs. McCloud, I think you need to get in touch with the NAACP and let them get involved. How come Mrs. Harrell hasn’t even went to court yet? You have spent time in jail and now going back again. I think not, how about Harrell going to jail. It looks as though she took and lot more this lady did. This makes me so mad that I can’t stand it. Who’s her family? Who’s her boyfriend? What in the devil is going on? Mrs. McCloud go for it, get something done and done now. Good Luck

  2. MILDRED WHITESCARVER

    February 6, 2014 at 1:05 am

    what makes her any different than anyone else?how many people are sitting in jail for not paying and havent got the chances this woman has?

  3. Leon

    February 6, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Lets face the facts, you are going after this lady because of who she is. Mrs. McCloud you need to go to the NAACP and start procedures. See why they are going after you and not so much as a court hearing for that Miss Harrell. Is is that her family has money or is it who her boyfriend is? I don’t care who you are you do the crime, you do the time. Why hasn’t this crime been heard? Look at the amount she took as to what this lady took. Its a shame , I know it doesn’t matter what you took or amount, it is still stealing. Mrs. McCloud, take it to the limits.

    • Will

      February 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Bovine Excrement! Let’s not play the race card here. It doesn’t belong and is a straw man argument at best.

      The judge was fair and here’s why:

      $25 a month is not a reasonable attempt at restitution. Even the $50 the judge ordered is more than fair.

      It is more difficult to find a job as a felon, but it does not relieve one of the requirement to follow court orders to avoid incarceration.

      The judge gave a relatively short sentence. However, a longer sentence would have done absolutely nothing to increase the chances that restitution would be made and incarceration is not cheap for taxpayers.

      The judge allowed the sentence to be served on the weekends. This allows her to keep her job and this benefits everyone.

      The judge allowed time for her to arrange for childcare. Again this benefits everyone involved.

      One might question if a sentence should have been given at all. That’s a fair question, but look at his options. A fine would make no sense. To just do nothing sends the wrong message to other criminals. And, a lengthy sentence doesn’t help restitution be made any quicker and taxpayers pay for the cost of incarceration.

      Where does race enter into this? Let me guess, you celebrated when OJ got away with murder?

  4. Elizabeth

    February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

    An ex-worker in Montgomery County VA stole money from the Treasurer’s office and got a slap on the wrist. It is more of a money argument than a race one. Mrs. McCloud does not sound as though she can afford a good attorney.

  5. Citizen

    February 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    In no way do I think justice has been done in Ms. Harrell’s case but from what has been reported, ther have been issues between her attorney and his client; thus delays have followed.

    Why does everyone have to play a race card when there is a crime? Stealing is stealing regardless of race.

  6. Lt

    February 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    So how did Mccloud and Harrell get combined in these comments? Doesn’t matter race, economy, whatever. Fact is stealing is stealing difference seems first person is right though. At least Mccloud has made it to court. Or did I just miss the Harrell court date?

  7. James W

    February 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Looks like Fleenor came up with a good solution – go to jail as punishment for not paying, but serve it on weekends so she can keep her job and begin to pay restitution.

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