MILWAUKIE, Ore. (PAMPLIN) — Juli Howard, who pocketed thousands of dollars in public funds when she was assistant city recorder for Milwaukie, was sentenced on Tuesday to 120 days in prison to be followed by 24 months of probation.
As part of her guilty plea, Howard, 40, had to pay back the $14,819 that she laundered from citizens who had designated cash to settle their Milwaukie Municipal Court fines. She’ll also pay a $500 fine to the court.
In her courtroom statements, Howard denied that she had stolen the funds to pay for gambling debts, but didn’t elaborate on the reason she had been behind in payments. She said she had “got into a situation” where she was in debt and didn’t want to tell her husband.
In stealing the funds from Milwaukie, she said she had initially thought she would pay the city back. At least nine ‘irregular’ transactions between May 25, 2011, and April 25, 2012, led to her Feb. 13 arrest.
“I wish more than anything I could go back in time and make a different choice, but I can’t,” she told the judge amid sobbing speech.
– Raymond Rendleman is a news editor for the Clackamas Review, RRendleman@clackamasreview.com.