MAYVILLE – The former town of Ellicott court clerk who lost her job after being accused of stealing more than $34,000 in court funds appeared in county court on Monday and is requesting diversion to a drug treatment program.
The Post-Journal is reporting that the court has granted 40 year-old Jennifer Piazza an evaluation for a drug treatment program out of Jamestown City Court.
Piazza is being defended by public defender Ned Barone, who said Piazza is a non-violent, first-time offender who has a history of drug use and needs help.
Piazza was fired from her position in 2015 after being accused of pocketing $34,443 over the course of four years from the Ellicott Town Court while serving as its clerk. The theft was first noticed following an audit by the State Comptroller’s office. She also served as part-time clerk for the Gerry town court, where she is also accused of taking about $8,000.
Piazza is currently facing two indictments out of the towns of Ellicott and Gerry, each charging her with third-degree grand larceny – two class D felonies.
According to the Post-journal, if Piazza is eligible for the treatment program, she must plead guilty to the charges on both indictments. If she successfully completes the program, she can withdraw her pleas and plead guilty to two misdemeanors instead. She would also be required to pay restitution and would be placed on probation for six year.