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School employee accused in theft gets 8 years

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 7:44 a.m. CDT

EUREKA, Ill. — A judge in central Illinois has handed down an eight-year prison sentence for a former employee who's accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Roanoke-Benson school district

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that 74-year-old Katherine Capponi was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony charge of theft of government property. Her plea came during what was supposed to be a final preliminary hearing before her trial in Woodford County.

School Superintendent Rohn Peterson says Capponi worked for the district for 42 years and residents feel "a sense of betrayal."

Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger says most of the money Capponi stole was used to pay for plane tickets for vacations, gifts for her grandchildren, restaurant meals and credit card debt.

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