The wife of a former Milton town supervisor was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation after she paid part of the restitution she owes for stealing from an elderly woman.
Deborah Thompson, 62, of Ballston Spa, was sentenced in Saratoga County Court to the agreed-upon probation. She paid $10,000 on Tuesday and must pay the remaining $19,364.42 in restitution to the victim in monthly installments. She also must pay $2,152 to the state Department of Taxation and Finance by March 23.
“You do appear to be remorseful,” acting Saratoga County Court Judge Karen Drago told Thompson on Tuesday. “Suffice it to say, you had a gross error in judgment and you have to get this behind you.”
In December, Drago ordered her to pay at least $10,000 in restitution by Tuesday or risk having the plea agreement allowing her to avoid jail time withdrawn. Thompson had been waiting for her house at 71 Thompson St. to sell to come up with the funds. It hasn’t sold yet, her attorney said Tuesday, but Thompson paid $10,000 in a certified bank check.
She also must make a $338 monthly restitution payment until the entire amount is satisfied.
Her attorney, Justin DeArmas, said after the proceeding he understands a sale date for the house is near.
The price of the house has been reduced several times in an effort to sell it faster. It is now listed at $89,900. It was once listed at $135,000.
DeArmas had little comment on the sentencing afterward.
“Other than the fact that it’s a fair disposition, that’s all I have to say,” he said.
Thompson pleaded guilty in August to attempted third-degree grand larceny for taking the money from an 84-year-old woman. They met while Thompson was manager of Trieble Village senior apartments in Milton and the woman was a resident there. Thompson was later appointed her financial guardian. The victim has since moved to Maplewood Manor Nursing Home.
Authorities say Thompson took a total of $29,364.42.
On Tuesday, Drago ordered sealed a psychological report done by a state-certified gambling addiction counselor. Attorneys on both sides have said gambling losses were part of Thompson’s motive for stealing the funds.
Between October 2009 and March 2011, Thompson wrote checks to herself without the victim’s permission, paid herself for managing the woman’s accounts and used the victim’s credit card for personal expenses, including gambling trips to the Turning Stone and Foxwoods casinos, special prosecutor Louise Sira said previously.
On Tuesday, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Chad Brown stood in for Sira, who is district attorney in that county and was appointed to prosecute the case because Frank Thompson, Deborah’s estranged husband, was on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors when charges were filed.
Frank Thompson later lost a Republican primary, and Dan Lewza was elected to the position in November.
Sira has said there was no evidence that Frank Thompson knew about his wife’s actions. A new special prosecutor, Paul Clyne, was appointed in January to look into some information that was brought to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office about Frank Thompson. That information has not been released.
Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano recused himself from Deborah Thompson’s case because he appointed her to be the woman’s financial guardian. Drago is a Schenectady County Court judge.
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