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Pyrites woman gets reduced charge in Best Western University Inn theft

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CANTON — From grand larceny to petit larceny, the Pyrites woman responsible for the theft of over $50,000 from the Best Western University Inn received a reduced charge and probation Monday in St. Lawrence County Court.

Joanna L. Wright, 39, 42 Churchill St., stood before Judge Jerome J. Richards as he gave her his final sentence after her successful completion of one year interim probation.

Mrs. Wright pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny in Feb. 22, 2012 after stealing more than $50,000 from the Best Western University Inn while working as an account clerk from April 2008 to June 2010. On April 16, 2012, Ms. Wright had been placed on interim probation by Judge Richards and given a year to pay the restitution

During that time, Public Defender Stephen D. Button said Mrs. Wright suffered the misfortune of her husband’s death.

“With his death insurance, she made the restitution to St. Lawrence University in full,” Mr. Button said in court Monday.

Mrs. Wright’s insurance company and the university came to a settlement agreement of $49,703.13 Mr. Button said, down from the approximate $68,000, which also included the value of the audit held during the investigation.

Judge Richards said, in a correspondence, the victims did not object to Mrs. Wright vacating her plea of guilty to the grand larceny charge and pleading guilty to a reduced charge of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

Judge Richards sentenced Mrs. Wright to three years of probation with a credit of one year due to the success of her completing interim probation.

Mrs. Wright had to also submit a sample of her DNA and pay a DNA collection fee of $50.

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