SAN LUIS OBISPO — Kallie Johnson was sentenced recently by San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Hernaldo Baltodano to 180 days jail for her theft of $38,000 from the San Miguel Community Services District.
The Community Services District provides water, sewer, solid waste disposal, street lighting and general administrative services to San Miguel, population 2,400.
Johnson, 30, pled no-contest to two felonies — misappropriation of public funds and embezzlement of public funds.
The thefts occurred between June 2015 and November 2015 while Johnson was working as the district’s bookkeeper. According to evidence in the case, during that time, she manipulated the district’s payroll system to increase her paycheck. She did this on 11 separate occasions, increasing the amount of each paycheck from $2,000 to as much as $4,000.
“The public has a right to expect that all government officials, whether employees in small local districts or state agency officials, will serve the public and protect our valuable public resources. Ms. Johnson abused her position by stealing from the residents who live in San Miguel and we will not allow public corruption in any form to go unpunished in San Luis Obispo County,” said San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.
Johnson was facing up to four years in prison.
“While the sentence is less than we had hoped for, we can all be thankful that she’s receiving punishment for shattering the trust of this community and stealing the resources of the district,” said Ashley Sangster, San Miguel Community Services District Board President.
At the sentencing hearing, Sangster spoke at length of Johnson’s harm to the district’s reputation and its employees. During the hearing, Judge Baltodano noted the seriousness of her offense, that it involved sophistication, and took advantage of a position of trust and confidence.
After Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye urged the Judge to sentence Johnson to at least one year in custody, Judge Baltodano gave a lesser sentence of 180 days, noting that she had served in the military, that she was making efforts to pay restitution, and that she had no significant prior criminal history.
This case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Frye, who is assigned to the Public Integrity Prosecution Unit.