TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a former clerk for the State Department of Education was sentenced to jail today for stealing three money orders totaling $615 that were sent to the department by teachers in payment for teaching certificates. A second former clerk who cashed one of the money orders was sentenced to noncustodial probation.
Dennis Scott, 60, of Ewing, was sentenced to 364 days in the county jail and three years of probation by Superior Court Judge Mark J. Fleming in Mercer County. Scott pleaded guilty on Nov. 8 to a charge of third-degree theft by unlawful taking. Scott was ordered to pay full restitution and to be permanently barred from public employment. He was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his jail term. Deputy Attorney General Anthony A. Picione, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Victor R. Salgado prosecuted the case and represented the state at the sentencing.
Scott was indicted on July 10, 2012 as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police. In pleading guilty, Scott, who was a clerk for the Department of Education (DOE) for approximately 10 years, admitted that he stole four money orders totaling $615, cashing one and providing the other three to other individuals to cash. As part of his duties, he opened mail containing certified checks or money orders sent to the DOE in connection with teaching certificates. He was terminated as a result of this investigation.
Scott cashed one stolen money order for $190 at a check cashing agency and kept the proceeds for his own use. He gave two stolen money orders totaling $225 to an alleged accomplice who is now deceased, who cashed the money orders and split the money with Scott.
Scott gave a fourth stolen money order for $200 to Dora Hall, 62, of Trenton, who also formerly worked as a clerk for the DOE. She cashed the money order for her own use. Hall previously pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree theft charge and was sentenced today to one year of probation by Judge Fleming. She was ordered to pay full restitution and to be permanently barred from public employment. Hall was also terminated as a result of this investigation.
The investigation was conducted by Deputy Attorney General Picione, Deputy Attorney General Salgado and Detective Thomas Page of the Division of Criminal Justice, and Lt. John Cappetta, Sgt. 1st Class Vincent Greene, Sgt. 1st Class Francis McNulty and retired Lt. Keith Dangler of the New Jersey State Police.