Ex-corrections officer pleads guilty to stealing from soldier's memorial fund

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A former Butler County Sheriff’s corrections officer pleaded guilty Thursday to theft for stealing cash from a fundraiser for a soldier’s memorial fund.

Halle Gudgell, 21, of Hamilton, was charged in February with misdemeanor theft, according to Hamilton Municipal Court records. She was scheduled to go to trial Monday on the charge.

RELATED: Former Butler County corrections officer stole from soldier's memorial fund, Hamilton police allege

Judge Daniel Gattermeyer gave Gudgell a suspended 180-day jail sentence, placed her on two years supervised community control, and ordered her to work 40 hours punitive community service and complete a theft class.

She was also ordered to pay $1,556 in fees and court costs.

The funds were taken during a fundraiser for Miami University Hamilton’s scholarship in Corp. Nicholas Olivas’ memory.

Olivas, a Hamilton native and Fairfield High School graduate, was killed May 30, 2012, when a device exploded while he was on patrol in Zharay, Afghanistan.

Gudgell was a probationary employee at the sheriff’s office and resigned when confronted about an ongoing investigation by Hamilton Police, according to the sheriff’s office.

“She was on probation at the time. She was confronted with the allegations and chose to resign. When an employee is on probation there is a great deal of scrutiny with any legal contact,” Butler County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer previously told the Journal-News.

Gudgell was hired in August 2016 and resigned Jan. 30, according to the sheriff’s office.

A money box was allegedly removed by Gudgell from Miami University Hamilton on June 2, according to the Hamilton police report. Gudgell was arrested Feb 1 after an investigation.

Read more about the case at the Journal-News, a WCPO media partner.

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