Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 09 August 2012 10:05
After serving eight months of her four-year prison sentence, the woman guilty of embezzling nearly $230,000 from a Perrysburg facility was granted judicial release on Monday.
|File photo. Marilyn Mikolajczyk with her lawyer during a hearing. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Marilyn Mikolajczyk, 41, of Toledo, was convicted of theft from her former employer Kingston Residence of Perrysburg. She was sentenced to a total of four years in prison on Dec. 5 for two counts of theft and two counts of forgery.
Despite the objection of the prosecutor's office, Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Reeve Kelsey granted the release. Her release will allow her to begin to more quickly pay the ordered restitution of $10,000. That figure was the amount lost by Kingston which was not covered by its insurance company.
As an employee, Mikolajczyk had control over finances and had forged the signature of her supervisor 72 times over several years. She also altered the company's books to cover her actions.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said he was not happy with the decision, though he accepted the judge's role and "his invested duty to make a decision" based on each individual case.
"We are very concerned with the consistent increase in the number of embezzlement cases," Dobson said. "We feel the judicial system should tighten up and toughen up on the sentences imposed."
In granting the release, Kelsey placed her on four years of community control sanctions. As part of those sanctions, the judge ordered her to seek and maintain employment, successfully obtain mental health counseling, perform 300 hours of community service, and reiterated the need to pay the restitution as well as court costs.
As of Aug. 2, a total of $2,000 has been paid toward the restitution over several installments.
Dobson said, beyond the payment of restitution, "We want not only to punish the offender but to deter others in the future."
The prosecutor indicated his office is hopeful in its continuing effort to "push for more stringent penalties to deter some of the ongoing problems."
The motion requesting judicial release was filed June 15 by Mikolajczyk's attorney, Adrian Cimerman.
While the motion itself was only three pages, the attorney filed 24 additional pages of supporting documents to justify his request on her behalf.
"Since being incarcerated, Marilyn has actively been involved with religious studies and learning the skill of dog training," Cimerman wrote in his memorandum in support.
The filing included numerous certificates showing the extent of her participation and letters from the defendant, her pastor and her daughter's counselor as well as other family and friends.
While in the custody of the Ohio Reformatory for Women, Mikolajczyk completed an eight-week course, Stealing Hearts, for theft offenders; a six-week "Pawsibility" course of basic dog obedience training; and numerous Bible study classes.
In her letter to the court, she said regarding her time in prison, "I have lost all control in my life here and it has been a very humbling experience."
She told the judge about things in her life leading up to her crimes and how she has found hope and "rediscovered myself thru (sic) my faith."
Her letter concluded with a series of promises of what will be done if she was granted release, noting, "I will be successful and responsible to society in making the right decisions."
Other letters indicated problems suffered by her family in her absence. Her husband, Brian Mikolajczyk Jr., wrote a letter stating his wife has "reconciled her demons from previously thinking she has no worth to herself, her family, and her parish; to a person that has the definite desire to prove that she has value to us all; through nurturing and legal ways."