White sentenced in Yak-Tat Kwaan theft

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yakutat resident Karen White, 45, was sentenced Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court to 2 1/2 years incarceration for second-degree theft from and falsifying the business records of her employer Yak-tat Kwaan in 2008.

Both charges are felonies.

White also had 17 months of probation remaining for a prior offense of falsifying prescriptions while employed as a nurse at the hospital clinic in Yakutat. That amount was included in the final sentence.

Yak-Tat Kwaan president and CEO Casey Havens declined comment on behalf of the corporation.

In sentencing arguments, District Attorney Doug Gardner said White had done good work in the past as a nurse, but she had not used the probation process to improve her situation.

White's actions were discovered in a nine-day hunt through receipts and bank deposits, Gardner said.

Evidence in that trial showed White originally acknowledged the crime in a letter to supervisors that stated: "I truly thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this right without police involvement and I promise not to let you down again."

Public defender David Seid said White wrote the letter, not because she was a thief, but because she had been in trouble before and now that money was missing it pointed to her.

White intends to file an appeal, Seid said.

Judge Philip Pallenberg asked White if she had any comments before he issued the sentence.

"I have three grandkids at home," White said. "They have never been with anyone but me or their mom."

White is scheduled to report to Lemon Creek Correctional Center on September 1.

• Contact Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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