Former Healdton city clerk Karen Kardaleff will spend a year of her life in the Carter County Detention Center after pleading guilty Wednesday to embezzlement charges in Carter County District Court.
District Associate Judge Lee Card sentenced Kardaleff to a 10-year sentence, with nine years suspended. Kardaleff was also ordered to pay back $80,000 in restitution beginning May 1, 2015. In order to pay back the full amount, it will take Kardaleff more than 44 years. In addition, she was ordered to pay $75 a month for court costs beginning on the same date of the restitution.
In an affidavit filed with the court on Feb. 25 by Gayle Kammerer with the state auditor’s office, Kardaleff was accused of taking $42,704.57, using a check for cash embezzlement scheme. She was also accused of taking $37,053.39 in cash. The audit in which the embezzlement was revealed was from June 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012. The state audit indicates issues revealed in city audit reports dating back to 2005.
In accepting the plea of guilty, Card asked Kardaleff what she had done, to which she responded, “Took money.” She elaborated it would come across her desk and she was responsible for it. When asked “How did they catch you?”, Kardaleff said, “The audit.”
Card had a question regarding what Kardaleff would do with the checks. She explained she would hold them for deposit until the next day to cover the balances.
When the subject of restitution came up, Card asked Kardaleff why she had done it.
“It was too easy,” she said. She explained she used money to pay bills and gave it to friends.
“I didn’t buy anything big,” Kardaleff said.
Appearing in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, Kardaleff was given credit for time served. Following her arraignment on May 7, the former city clerk agreed to start serving time based on an agreement of parties concerned.