REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Double standard for deputy's theft sentence

A parent council president in Monroeville steals $10,000 and is sent to jail for 90 days and is ordered to pay restitution and
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

A parent council president in Monroeville steals $10,000 and is sent to jail for 90 days and is ordered to pay restitution and perform 400 hours of community service.

A Sandusky County Sheriff’s deputy steals more than $29,000, pays $24,000 of it back upon his retirement and is ordered to pay restitution, but gets placed on probation.

Huh?

We are not disputing the fact that deputy Mark Harman, 49, will receive his full pension.  He’s earned that.

However, the apparent double standard when it comes to sentencing in these rash of white collar crimes shows the punishment sometimes doesn’t always fit the crime. Theft is theft, and it should be treated the same across the board when it comes to sentencing these criminal acts.

If anything, the fact that Mr. Harman was a public official and stole from the same public he was entrusted to serve means he should be held to a higher standard.  Instead, he received less than a slap on the wrist.  If Bernie Madoff were a

Sandusky County Sheriff’s deputy, we have to wonder if  he would have received just probation also.

With the economy stumbling and job incomes remaining flat, we expect to see even more of these type of embezzlements.  With that in mind, we hope our judicial systems administer the law equally and fairly so embezzlers get the message — if you steal and violate the public’s trust, you will go to jail.