BRADENTON -- A former Manatee assistant supervisor of elections convicted of embezzling more than $300,000 had a curfew added to the terms of her probation after she was arrested when she stopped making restitution payments.
Dawn Marshall, also known as Dawn Marshall-Smith, was convicted of grand theft and scheming to defraud in November 2000 after she embezzled more than $300,000 from the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office by funneling the money through a bogus account.
Marshall was sentenced to 26 1/2 months in a Florida Department of Corrections facility and was released about
five months early. She was also ordered to serve two years house arrest and 25 years probation. After her release from prison, she was ordered to repay $325,000 in monthly installments to Manatee County.
On Jan. 14, Marshall was arrested for violation of probation for making inconsistent payments.
Marshall entered into a plea agreement on Tuesday, and Circuit Judge John Lakin ordered she be placed on a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the next 24 months as a new condition to her probation.
Marshall did not address the court but became emotional at the onset of the hearing.
After the plea and sentencing, Lakin told Marshall that the restitution component of the case was important.
"No one deserves a free pass, you don't have a free pass once this money is stolen. You have an obligation to repay that money," Lakin said. "The law is about accountability. ... It is about responsibility and accountability. You don't get a free pass."
County Attorney Mitchell Palmer represented the county government and addressed the court prior to sentencing.
"Her payments have been spotty over the years," Palmer said. "I am here on behalf of the taxpayers."
Palmer urged the court to remain firm with Marshall.
"We are looking for her to remain steady with those restitution payments," Palmer said.
When she was arrested, Marshall was about $48,000 in arrears, according to her probation officer. She currently still owes the county more than $214,000.
Marshall's probation officer issued the violation after being notified of her inconsistent payments by Manatee County risk-manager claims-adjuster Holly Bertone, who handles all restitution payments made to the county. Bertone was present in the courtroom
Bob Sweat, the elections supervisor at the time of the theft, was also present Wednesday.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.