WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) —
Carolyn Taylor, 40 of St. Marys, West Virginia pleaded guilty Wednesday to perjury. Taylor is a former St. Marys police department clerk.
She admitted to lying about a program that allowed people charged with crimes to pay cash and gift cards to avoid criminal sanctions, according to United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld.
Taylor admitted she lied about the “Slow Down for the Holidays” program, a “government-sanctioned initiative allowed those charged with DUI and other crimes in Pleasants County to donate cash, gift cards, or other items of value to dodge prosecution.”
“Taylor, as the clerk of the police department, helped to collect the donations and was asked about the specifics of her role when she testified earlier this year. She told grand jurors that she had no knowledge of anyone personally benefiting from the program and that all proceeds went to charitable causes. However, investigators discovered that she had used at least one of the program gift cards for her personal benefit,” said the court in a statement Wednesday.
“A policy that allows one to buy their way out of a DUI is inherently wrong and never should have been implemented in the first place,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “It is not surprising that someone involved with this ill-advised program kept a portion of the donations for herself.”
Taylor faces up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The matter remains active and is being investigated by the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.
U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone presided.