September 2, 2014

Former City Manager gets 45 days

Posted

STANDISH — Tori Kelly, the former city manager of Standish who was fired October 2008 due to embezzlement allegations, which she pleaded guilty to, received her sentence Dec. 2 in Arenac County’s 23rd Circuit Court.

Kelly was sentenced to a minimum of 45 days in jail (with one day credit), five years of probation and restitution payments that are yet to be determined. She pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement over $50 by a public official at a hearing on Oct. 22, which stemmed from mileage reimbursement Kelly charged to the city of Standish after falsely claiming to attend a meeting in November 2007. She was also ordered to pay $928 in various court costs and fines on the second during her sentencing.

The jail sentence for the former city employee starts on Dec. 28 but it is currently unknown where Kelly will serve out her sentence. Her attorney William Brisbois requested Kelly be allowed to serve the jail term in a facility other than the Arenac County Jail, and Judge Ronald Bergeron granted the request, if the court could agree on a different facility that it felt was an adequate replacement.

But Bergeron was adamant that Kelly serve in an actual jail and brushed off the topic of her wearing a tether or doing community service when Brisbois briefly mentioned the options.

“Too many white collar criminals think they’re too nice … to go to jail,” Bergeron said.

Brisbois said Kelly had picked herself up after being fired by Standish City Council, finding a new job and responsibly raising her 2-year-old son. He added that she lacked a criminal history and earned a master’s degree. Since the charges surfaced, he said his client had suffered greatly.

“Life, as she knows it, has basically been ruined,” Brisbois said.

Kelly also apologized during the hearing.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

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