'I never meant for any of this to happen:' Lyman receives prison, restitution for Emporia Senior Center thefts Featured

Former Emporia Senior Center director Lannie Lyman (center) awaits her sentencing from Lyon County District Judge Jeff Larson (far left) after reaching a plea agreement on a theft charge from the facility earlier this year. Defense attorney Brian Williams is seated next to Lyman. Former Emporia Senior Center director Lannie Lyman (center) awaits her sentencing from Lyon County District Judge Jeff Larson (far left) after reaching a plea agreement on a theft charge from the facility earlier this year. Defense attorney Brian Williams is seated next to Lyman.

After reaching a plea agreement two months ago, former Emporia Senior Center director Lannie Lyman was sentenced Tuesday to 17 months in prison after taking up to $120,000 from the facility during her tenure.


Before Judge Jeff Larson announced his decision, Senior Center Board President Karen Hartenbower said Lyman tapped all sorts of facility funds to pay for bills, trips, clothing, furniture and other items. She says the Senior Center came close to shutting down as it scrambled to repay bills and restore its reputation.

Lyman expressed remorse for her actions.

County Attorney Marc Goodman used the case to call on lawmakers to consider changes to property crime sentences.

Lyman will not serve probation as part of the plea agreement. A hearing Aug. 8 will set Lyman's restitution amount and schedule. Larson says Lyman's payments can be collected while she's incarcerated.

5 pm Tuesday: Former Emporia Senior Center director sentenced to prison

Saying she was ashamed of herself, former Emporia Senior Center director Lannie Lyman was sentenced to prison for stealing money from the facility at a hearing Tuesday.

Judge Jeff Larson accepted a plea agreement reached in May to sentence Lyman to 17 months in prison along with a currently undetermined restitution amount. A hearing Aug. 8 will set the repayment amount and schedule.

Before Larson handed down his sentence, Senior Center board member Karen Hartenbower said the center had to use volunteers for snow removal and get extra donations for an annual volunteer recognition party as part of several financial adjustments because of money thefts during Lyman’s tenure. Hartenbower also said the facility faced several cutoff notices on utility bills due to nonpayment.

Lyman said she had hurt a lot of people who trusted her, and “there are no words to express just how sorry I am.” She also expressed remorse for how her actions affected the Senior Center, saying she “never meant for any of this to happen.”

Lyman was hired in 2014 after former director Susan Riley departed for a similar job, but she was fired in September 2017 after missing money came to light. Initial losses were listed from $80,000 to $120,000 from January 2016 to September 2017, when Lyman was fired. A subsequent audit posted losses at around $115,000 throughout Lyman's tenure.

Lyman was charged in July 2018 with one count of theft between $25,000 and $100,000. She pleaded no contest in May.

Click here for KVOE News' original story.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 06:45
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