Former Braddock manager jailed for not paying restitution

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Ella Jones, the former Braddock borough manager who pleaded guilty in 2011 to stealing nearly $170,000 from the financially strapped community, has been jailed for failing to make "good faith" restitution payments.

Jones, 60, of Turtle Creek, is in the Allegheny County Jail following a Tuesday parole hearing before Judge Jill Rangos, according to her lawyer, Phillip DiLucente.

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman said the borough petitioned the court for the hearing because to date, Jones has only paid about $50 toward a $167,896 restitution.

"She stole $180,000 from the town and got what I would describe as a very generous sentence that afforded her the opportunity to pay it back and make amends," but she failed to do that, Mr. Fetterman said.

Jones pleaded guilty to to theft and forgery charges in March 2011; she forged the names of three borough council members and misappropriated 153 borough checks made out to herself and to the borough, prosecutors said. She used more borough money to pay off credit card bills.

During a sentencing hearing in June 2011, Judge Rangos said it would be "counterproductive" to sentence Jones to jail because she would be unable to work and pay restitution.

At the time of the hearing, Mr. DiLucente said Jones had a job and was looking for another.

Mr. DiLucente said Jones will be incarcerated for six months. He said she will likely remain in the Allegheny County Jail before entering a halfway house.

"The $10 payments, Judge Rangos did not feel ... were in good faith," he said. "Ella needs to make more of a good faith effort to come up with more money. It's just ... too little, too late."

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Annie Siebert: asiebert@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1613. Twitter: @AnnieSiebert.


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