Engle gets jail time for theft

Jill Brower

In her Dec. 1 sentencing, Donna Engle, the former bursar’s office cashier who stole over $90,000 from the University between 1998 and 2001, was given a nine-to-23 month jail term at Delaware County Prison. In addition, she was sentenced to seven years of probation after release.

According to Assistant District Attorney William Davis, Engle’s sentence will most likely not exceed the nine-month minimum. Sentences under one year are served in county prisons while longer sentences must be served in a state prison.

“As far as I’m concerned, she should go away for a long time, but I think it was a good sentence,” Davis said. “Delaware County Prison is not as harsh as a state prison, but it’s still jail.”

At the sentencing, held before Delaware County judge Charles C. Keeler at the Media Courthouse, Engle’s two sons spoke in her defense. According to Davis, they stated that she did it “because her husband was depressed and couldn’t work. She needed the money to support her family.”

Engle also spoke on her own behalf, yet in a barely audible tone.

“The judge asked her to speak up a few times,” Davis said, who was right next to her in court. “The only thing I heard her say was that she was sorry.”

Former University employee Annmarie Pisani, who worked with Engle in the bursar’s office, described being “harassed and constantly threatened” by Engle, according to Davis.

“The judge was swayed by her testimony because he felt like she had been acting deliberately to hurt other people,” Davis added.

Bursar Charles Hoffman also spoke to Keeler. “He said it has hurt the bursar’s office’s reputation because students are not as trusting,” Davis said.

“Since these unfortunate events, the University has instituted changes in procedures to ensure that this could not happen again,” Barbara Clement, assistant vice president for public relations, said. “Because of our insurance coverage, the University did not suffer a loss of funds.”

Engle’s sentence begins on Dec. 8. According to Davis, her attorney asked on her behalf if she could report on Jan. 1, after the Christmas holiday.

Keeler denied this request, giving her one week from the time of sentencing to report.

“The most offensive thing to me was that she was smiling on her way out of the courtroom,” Davis said. “She seemed pretty happy with it.”