Former Briarcliff city employee admits stealing, pays money back

A former employee of the City of Briarcliff appeared during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday and pled guilty to stealing money from a water department account. She was sentenced to four years probation.

Forty-year-old Teri Jean Buege also came prepared to pay back slightly more than $1,320 she had taken from city coffers, according to her attorney, Sam Pasthing.

Buege was charged with stealing the money during a period from Dec. 1, 2017 to July 3, 2018. Investigators said money was diverted from deposits for water service, cash payments received but not recorded or deposited, and at least one forged check.

It was also alleged Buege had falsified city records to help hide the thefts.

During the seven-month period she was taking the money, Buege is reported to have returned some of it, including depositing a paycheck of hers in favor of the city.

Buege was charged with forgery and theft of property.

She was sentence under provisions of Act 346, the first offender’s law, meaning if Buege stays out of trouble during her probation period, she can apply to the court to have her case sealed.

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