WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A former southeastern Kansas city clerk whose thefts have left the community near bankruptcy will spend a year and a day in federal prison for her crimes.
Fifty-year-old Laura Whittley sobbed Wednesday as U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten rejected a passionate defense request for probation. He also ordered her to repay $120,000 in restitution.
Whittley pleaded guilty in May to bank fraud and money laundering. She apologized in court and said she will do her best to repay the stolen money.
Thayer is a Neosho County community of 500 people with just 183 households and a median family income of about $35,000.
Mayor Anthony Vining says the city was forced to raise its mill levy and its water rates and soon its local sales tax because of the thefts.
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