COPY-Marion official sentenced to 24 months for theft

BENTON, Ill. (AP) - The former manager of Marion's water department has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for embezzling about $524,000 from the southern Illinois city.

A federal judge in Benton sentenced Linda Heyde to prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Heyde also was ordered to pay restitution of $524,100.

According to WSIL-TV, the 59-year-old apologized during Friday's hearing and admitted she had a gambling problem. Her attorney, John Stobbs, said the sentence was fair.

The 59-year-old Heyde managed Marion's water department from 1996 to 2012. She was fired after suspicious transactions were discovered in her department.

Authorities say police secretly installed video cameras in Heyde's office and recorded thefts.

Heyde pleaded guilty in May to three counts of theft and embezzlement.

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