A former Northampton County School Board employee who said he “accidentally” sold items from the maintenance department on the Internet auction site eBay has pleaded guilty to misdemeanors as part of an agreement.
Shane Hunter Smith, 27, of Craddockville, was charged with embezzlement and attempted embezzlement. He took items from the school maintenance department where he worked as maintenance foreman and listed them for sale on eBay, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Jones.
Four items were sold and seven items were still listed, he said.
Jones identified the items as oil burner controls, water faucets, a power transformer and a safety switch.
Jones said he made the decision to reduce both charges to misdemeanors because he could not determine the monetary value of the items sold until he received a list that day.
“The defendant said he ‘accidentally’ posted the items sold on eBay,” said Jones. “He admitted the unsold items belonged to the school system.”
Jones said the value of the sold items was determined to be $503.47.
He said Smith had no previous criminal record, but said “even shoplifters in Northampton County get jail time.”
He called the plea agreement, “a pretty big break for Mr. Smith.” He called the crime “egregious” and “a breach of trust violated systematically and repeatedly.”
Defense attorney Thomas Northam said his client had no previous record and said Smith’s former and present employers spoke highly of him.
He asked that Smith receive a suspended sentence so “he can work and pay back the county.”
“You took property that didn’t belong to you from your employer,” said Judge W. Revell Lewis III. “I don’t think this is a case where a person should not see the inside of a jail.”
He sentenced Smith to six months on each of the two charges and suspended all but ten days on each.
“You will have 20 days to serve,” he told Smith. “You may serve it on weekends.”
He ordered Smith to pay restitution to the county.