Former Montville WPCA employee charged with probation violation

Linda K. Rivera, who served 90 days in prison in 2007 for embezzling $51,500 from the Montville Water Pollution Control Authority, has been charged with violating probation because she has not made full restitution to the town agency.

Rivera, 57, of Willimantic, had worked for the WPCA since 1989 and was its deputy administrator when she was placed on leave in 2005 after auditors discovered a series of shortfalls. She was fired and charged with first-degree larceny, a felony, after a forensic audit revealed she had been taking check payments from customer accounts to cover for cash she had stolen.

Rivera pleaded guilty and repaid the $51,500 at sentencing. Judge Susan B. Handy sentenced her to three years in prison, suspended after 90 days served, and five years' probation, ordering Rivera to make additional restitution to the authority of $55,760 to cover the cost of the investigative audit. Rivera has been paying only $25 a month while on probation, for a total of $1,195, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. In embezzlement cases, the Department of Adult Probation studies probationers’ finances to determine how much the client is able to pay. Five years is the maximum probation period for first-degree larceny, according to prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla, and without a civil court judgment against her, it appears Rivera cannot be compelled to repay the full amount.

Rivera’s case has been continued to June 18.

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