Madigan: Violating probation means prison for former Jefferson County employee

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the former deputy treasurer of Jefferson County will serve five years in prison for violating terms of her probation after her conviction last year for stealing more than $175,000 from the county.

Judge Joe Harrison sentenced Brenda Pickett, 62, of Mt. Vernon, to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). She has been held in the Jefferson County Jail since her arrest in early January and pleaded guilty March 15, 2011, to the parole violation charge. The Attorney General's office prosecuted the case at the request of the Jefferson County State's Attorney's office.

On top of stealing more than $175,000 from the public coffer, Ms. Pickett chose to compound her crime by ignoring the court's order. In doing so, she also chose a prison sentence," said Attorney General Madigan.

In June 2010, Picket was sentenced to six months in the county jail and four years probation. She was also ordered to pay $175,629.50 in restitution. One of the conditions of probation was that she surrender the $13,075 cash value of her accumulated pension contributions as partial restitution. Attorney General Madigan said Pickett paid only $9,000 to the county when she cashed out her pension. She told her probation officer that she had spent the remainder of the money.

Deputy Bureau Chief Mary Bucaro and Assistant Attorney General David Navarro prosecuted the case for Madigan's Public Integrity Unit.

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