Lafayette

Feb 13, 2014 5:08 PM by Tina Macias

Convicted thief still owes Outreach Center $39,000

A former Acadiana Outreach Center employee sentenced to pay $46,000 after she stole from the non-profit has had her probation terminated early even though she still owes $39,000 in restitution.

Paula Scott pleaded guilty to theft in 2010 and was convicted for forging documents to get thousands of dollars in hurricane assistance money. She was sentenced to pay Acadiana Outreach restitution and five years probation, set to end in May 2015.

Scott stopped making payments pretty quickly and had seven probation violation hearings starting in mid-2011. Those hearings could have resulted in jail time, but Scott was continuously given more time to comply.

She went to her last hearing on Nov. 14, 2013, where Judge Edward Rubin ended her probation unsatisfactorily -- a year and a half before it was set to end -- and moved the payments to a civil matter. Acadiana Outreach would have to file a lawsuit to enforce the ruling. A civil suit has not been filed.

KATC spoke with several people at the hearing, who all said they could not remember the details of the hearing.

But according to a transcript of the hearing filed last week, Scott told Rubin that she had made about $7,000 worth of payments since she started probation, but stopped because she had to take a low-paying job after her vehicle broke down.

That's apparently what moved Rubin to end her probation. Scott works as a cook.

"I don't know how you're going to pay making boudin and cracklin," Rubin told Scott, according to the transcript.

Scott: "But that's the only job that I could get."

Rubin: "I understand. I understand. So you're off of probation. Okay. All right. Good luck to you. Merry Christmas."

Scott: "Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you."

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