Jul 172006
 
Authors: JAMES BAETKE The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The former CSU employee who stole $17,000 from the university will spend 30 days in prison and have to complete 300 hours of community service in addition to five years probation.

District Court Judge Terence Gilmore sentenced Reva Jeanette Miles, 55, on Monday for her involvement in mishandling cash at the University Counseling Center (UCC).

Convicted in a June trial on one count of felony theft and misdemeanor credit card fraud, Miles still maintains she did nothing criminal. She was facing up to 12 years in prison but only received one-third of the jail time recommended by the Larimer County District Attorney’s office.

Last year, an internal CSU audit and five-month police investigation found evidence of departmental misconduct implicating Miles with depositing checks but not cash, inappropriate ACARD purchases (cards university employees can use to make approved, business purchases), personal phone use and faulty sick leaves.

Miles subsequently was arrested, posted bond and later resigned from her 30-year post at the UCC. She was earlier chastised in a 1992 audit that criticized the same type of accounting practices.

“This is a white collar crime and Miles abused the system at every level,” said Deputy District Attorney Leah Bishop at the sentencing hearing.

Bishop said Colorado taxpayers should take this case as a “slap in face,” describing Miles as vengeful and deceptive.

“Miles still takes no responsibility,” Bishop said. “This is the ‘lets blame the someone else’ game.”

Miles’ attorney, Joeseph Taylor concedes Miles’ actions were irresponsible only because she was following a broken accounting system.

“Miles is guilty of bad judgment; she is guilty of doing what her boss told her to do,” Taylor said at the hearing.

Miles remained mostly silent throughout the sentencing hearing. When the judge asked whether she wanted to make a statement, she said, “No thank you, your honor.”

Almost a dozen family and friends were present, some crying, while others clasped their hands over their mouths when the judge rendered his sentencing. Two people spoke on Miles’ behalf, including her older sister Judy Miles.

“My family was stunned when Jeanette was accused of theft. Jeanette is honest,” Judy Miles said, pausing at times to cry. “She did not financially profit from these inadequate practices.”

Gilmore said he did not hand down the maximum sentence because of Miles non-existent criminal history and her long-standing commitment to CSU and the community.

“I’m still left with no explanation to where $17,000 disappeared. The defendant must have profited to some degree,” Gilmore said.

As Miles waits to serve her prison time, her supervisor and UCC Director Charles Davidshofer will learn his fate likely some time next week in County Court on charges of official misconduct.

An additional court hearing is set for early August to debate the nearly $19,000 in restitution the District Attorney is asking for.

James Baetke can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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