Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judge denies effort to modify Barrett sentence

February 04. 2014 12:24PM

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SCRANTON — A federal judge has denied a request to modify the 12-month prison sentence of former Wyoming Area teacher union president Lisa Barrett.

Barrett pleaded guilty Oct. 2, 2013 to charges she embezzled union funds and spent it on herself. The government had determined she had taken $59,732 over several years, and said the union had determined $94,125 was missing but could not confirm the higher amount.

Barrett asked that her sentence be modified either to an undefined “split sentence” — prison and home confinement would be one example — or that it be changed to 12 months and one day.

In denying the request, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley noted Barrett wanted the extra day “so that she can avail herself of certain Bureau of Prisons programs.” Munley also notes Barrett’s motion “does not set forth what program she seeks to participate in.”

An extra day tacked onto the 12 months could actually shorten Barrett’s time in prison. Federal rules bar any early release for a sentence up to 12 months, but allow eligibility for early release for anything over 12 months.

Barrett had sought modification based on a technical error in the original sentence. Munley ruled there was no error.

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