A former Louisiana School Boards Association bookkeeper who admitted more than two years ago that she stole $100,000 from the group and agreed to pay it back has repaid “exactly zero” of the money and will stay in jail until a June 19 probation revocation hearing, a Baton Rouge judge said Thursday.
Doris Butler, 52, of Baton Rouge, who was put on probation for five years in March 2013 but failed to appear at review hearings in September of that year and last May, pleaded Thursday with state District Judge Richard Anderson to give her another chance.
Anderson held Butler in contempt May 1 and ordered her to spend 90 days in Parish Prison.
“I really need to get home to my business so I can pay my restitution,” an emotional Butler, dressed in a light green prison jumpsuit, told the judge Thursday during a brief court appearance.
Anderson reminded Butler that she has paid back “exactly zero” of the money during the more than two years she has been on probation.
“I’m losing my business, sir,” Butler said of the small day care she runs in her home. “I need to get home to make some payments. Please give me another chance. I’m losing everything. I can try to pay some.”
“You had your chance,” the judge shot back.
Anderson rescheduled Butler’s probation revocation hearing for June 19 because her attorney could not make it to Baton Rouge state court Thursday due to a conflict.
Butler explained to Anderson on May 1 that she has very little money left over once she pays her expenses.
Jeff Traylor, the assistant state attorney general handling the case, said Thursday outside Anderson’s courtroom that Butler has made no attempt to pay any of the restitution.
“If she was paying something, we would accept that she has a financial situation” and work with her, he said.
Butler pleaded guilty March 1, 2013, to felony theft, admitting she stole from the statewide association from March 2008 until August 2011.
Anderson stated back then that the only reason he did not put Butler in prison was because the LSBA board supported the negotiated plea that included a sentence of probation and restitution. She faced up to 10 years in prison.
Butler resigned from the LSBA in 2011 after working there for 19 years. The association’s then-executive director, Nolton Senegal Sr., of Rayne, was fired that same year for failing to timely report allegations of wrongdoing to the group’s leadership.
Senegal was charged with accessory after the fact to felony theft for allegedly helping Butler conceal her theft, but Traylor said the charge was dismissed at the board’s request.