Ms. Medlock faced up to 18 felony counts and 12 years in prison for her actions as the executive director of CASA. She also faced 22 felony counts in Placer County for similar crimes, but those charges will be dropped in light of the plea agreement in Yolo.
She received three years for the first count, misappropriation of public funds – the use of the CASA company credit card for personal use at a casino. She also pled to counts 8 and 9, which were forgery charges, based on the use of the card in a fraudulent manner and forgery of board members names on the checks.
For the 8th and 9th counts, Ms. Medlock received two two-year terms to be served concurrently with the 1st count’s three-year term. She then received an additional 8 months in prison for forging a Judge’s signature, totaling to the aggragate three-year and 8 month sentence, of which she will serve about half.
Judge Fall also ordered her to pay full restitution of $46,568.01.
Mila Spengler, the President of CASA’s board of directors, issued a statement saying, “Since the day we became aware of Ms. Medlock’s criminal activity in our organization, the Yolo CASA board of directors remained focused on three goals.”
Those goals, she said, included, “Maintain uninterrupted service to the youth we serve,” “Make certain this never happens to Yolo CASA again,” and “Prevent Ms. Medlock from perpetrating similar crimes on others.”
“We believe today’s outcome supports those goals and the best interest of the Yolo County foster youth we serve,” she stated.
Deputy Public Defender Monica Brushia told the Vanguard on Wednesday afternoon that this was “ultimately a fair resolution.”
She said that the 22-count complaint was not filed in Placer County, based on her plea.
She also noted that the restitution was a lot of money, but she believed there were a “lot of mitigating circumstances for her.”
Ultimately, Ms. Brushia said, “She wanted a resolution. She is happy it is finally resolved. She wanted it resolved a long time ago.”
She noted that she had faced up to 12 years with the 18 felony counts. Now she has a 3-year 8-month sentence and will likely serve half of the time.
Judge Fall allowed two members of the Board to read impact statements.
Diana Glick, who has been affiliated with CASA for almost 12 years now said, “The people you don’t see here today are the children we serve. These foster youth are the true victims of Ms. Medlock’s crimes, as she has threatened the viability of our organization and our ability to continue to provide mentoring and advocacy services to at-risk youth in this community.”
She noted, “Ms. Medlock came to our organization, unbeknownst to us, with a felony conviction for embezzlement. During the 12 months of her employment with CASA, she stole from the organization, forged our names on checks, falsified organizational documents and went so far as to pretend to be a CASA herself.”
“She thoroughly violated the law and she also violated the sacred trust that exists between CASA volunteers and their assigned children. She has demonstrated repeatedly that she has no regard for the laws that bind the rest of us and that probation for her prior offenses was not enough to deter her from committing future crimes,” Ms. Glick read to the Judge. “Therefore, we are grateful to the court for imposing the maximum sentence allowable under the plea deal.”
Mary Patricia Whelan-Miille also read a statement to the court.
“Ms. Medlock took an oath in this very courthouse to advocate for and act in the best interests of CASA children—she broke that oath,” she read. “She committed crimes that hurt the very children she swore an oath to advocate for. She stole money and did damage to an organization whose sole purpose is to support the most vulnerable children of our community—our foster youth.”
“Your honor, these are foster children…they have already been neglected or abused. Her crimes just added to that abuse,” she said.
Ms. Medlock had originally pled to a no-state-prison term. However, under pressure from the CASA board and volunteers, Deputy DA Michelle Serafin filed a motion with the Court to reject the no contest plea entered by the defendant on October 14, 2010, arguing that the plea offer “was based on the belief that the defendant had only one prior arrest that resulted in a misdemeanor embezzlement conviction in Sacramento County.”
Instead she claimed, “The People have since learned that the defendant was actually convicted of a felony embezzlement charge in Sacramento.”
“The People no longer believe that the defendant is amenable to probation. Her felony probation grant in Sacramento County did nothing to deter her from continuing the same criminal activity for which she was on felony probation. The defendant was embezzling money from Yolo County CASA before being placed on felony probation in Sacramento and she continued to embezzle money for 8 months, stopping only when she was caught,” the motion argues.
It is clear that the board of CASA was pleased with the disposition in this case. We will note that, while we opposed rescinding the plea agreement, we do believe both the original sentence and the current sentence are too lenient, based on the facts in this case.
Ms. Medlock faced at least 12 years in prison for her 18 counts in Yolo, and probably at least that much in Placer County. She has gotten off far more leniently than most in this county who have done far less to harm innocent victims.
Unfortunately, it appears that the DA’s office is far softer on white collar crimes than it is on other crimes. We see that, both with Ms.Jennifer Beeman who committed similar crimes at UC Davis, and now with Medlock.
We are glad it is resolved, we are glad that CASA will perhaps get their money back and can continue to do the great work that they do in this community, but we should not forget how we got here and the missteps along the way.
—David M. Greenwald reporting