Mitchener seeks change of placement
GREENCASTLE -- The attorney for a Roachdale woman convicted in July stealing more than $56,000 from the special education cooperative for which she worked has filed a motion for change of place of confinement on behalf of his client.
Greencastle attorney Robert C. Perry filed the request for Tammy Y. Mitchener, 33, who is now incarcerated at the Indiana Women's Prison. On July 23, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley handed Mitchener a five-year prison sentence, with three years executed and two years to be spent on probation.
Mitchener pled guilty to one count of Class C felony corrupt business influence and one count of Class D felony theft. Under the terms of her plea agreement, five other felony counts pending against her were dismissed.
Perry filed the motion for change of place of confinement on Wednesday.
"As of the date of this motion, the defendant has served approximately three months and two weeks in custody at the Indiana Department of Corrections," Perry wrote. "Defendant submits that any rehabilitative benefit by incarceration in the Department of Correction has been received."
Perry goes on in the motion to say that Mitchener's restitution debts will be substantial upon her release, and that if she were to be placed on home detention with electronic monitoring she "could begin working and meeting her restitution responsibilities."
In a response prepared by Putnam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long, the state objected vehemently to Perry's motion.
"Paragraph five of the (plea) agreement contained an express waiver of the defendant's right to seek modification of her sentence," Long wrote.
In Long's opinion, Perry calling his request a "motion for change in place of confinement" wasn't accurate, and he asked that the motion be denied without a hearing.
"Calling this a 'motion for change in place of confinement' does not change the fact that it is a request for sentence modification," he wrote. "The court accepted the agreement, and it is contractual in nature."
Long also called the motion "a disingenuous attempt to backdoor the state and get around the clear language of the agreement," and accused Perry of using "deceitful wordplay."
"To grant the defendant's motion would not only be a violation of the plea agreement, but would also send the wrong message to the public and undermine their trust in our criminal justice system," Long wrote.
At Mitchener's sentencing, Headley called her crime "one of the worst crimes of dishonesty that I've ever seen in Putnam County," and lamented that he could not sentence her to more prison time.
Mitchener was arrested on Dec. 2. She bonded out of jail the same day, and did not return to jail until after she was sentenced in July.
Court records said Mitchener wrote $56,639.19 worth of checks from the Old National Trail Special Education Cooperative's account to a vendor called PC Technologies -- which turned out to be a dummy corporation she set up and opened a bank account for. Mitchener deposited the checks she wrote into the PC Technologies account and then moved the money into her personal account, which was at a different bank, using online banking services.
Mitchener was employed as treasurer at ONT.
In addition to the checks she wrote to herself, an audit done by the Indiana State Board of Accounts showed that ONT lost more than $52,000 in penalties and interest paid to the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Revenue due to Mitchener's negligence.
The court will now review Perry's motion and the state's response.