A St. Albert woman and former employee of the Arden theatre paid back the $6,700 she admitted to stealing from the theatre's deposits and was sentenced to a six months of house arrest Monday.
Amanda Dawn Cody, 25 pleaded guilty to a single count of theft over $5,000 and was given the house arrest along with six months of curfew as part of a conditional sentence order that will also see her perform 100 hours of community service.
The theft dates back to July 2009 when Cody took $200 from the theatre's deposit in advance of a brief vacation she was going on.
The $200 was noticed and Cody was confronted about it upon her return. She gave back the $200 and then left her job in early August.
In response to the theft, the city conducted an audit of the finances over the time Cody worked there, starting in December 2008. The city discovered that over that period of time, a total of $6,728.64 was missing.
When police interviewed Cody about the missing cash, she first admitted that she might have taken as much as $2,500, but when confronted with the amount uncovered in the audit, she did not deny the figure.
Crown prosecutor Bill Wister said it appeared she had lost perspective on what she was taking.
He said the theft from an employer represented a grave breach of trust made more troublesome by the fact the employer was a public institution. "She has betrayed not only her employer, but also the community."
Cody, near tears, apologized profusely to the court for what she had done.
"I did betray the trust of people I considered to be friends."
She said she was deeply sorry for the incident, but it had taught her to think more about her actions.
"I cannot take back what I have done, but I will always try to think of consequences in the future."
Nancy Abrahamson, cultural services manager with the City of St. Albert said the city found the initial problem through their existing policies and safeguards.
She said after they found it however, they did look for ways to improve things.
"We did a thorough review of our cash handling policies."
She said mostly that meant ensuring everyone was stringently following the existing procedures.
Abrahamson said she was pleased the Arden would be receiving its money back and they would be able to move past the incident.
Under the conditions of her house arrest, Cody will be able to leave the house only for work or school, as well as a small handful of other exemptions.
In the second half of her conditional sentence she will be under a daily curfew, which the court ruled her probation officer would determine based on her work schedule. She will be prohibited from consuming alcohol and will have to take any directed counselling.