In 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday, Judge John Fenn sentenced 58-year-old Barbara Yalowizer to Deferred Prosecution and 1 to 5 years Supervised Probation on the Misappropriation of Funds charge to which she plead guilty a few weeks ago.
Yalowizer, who worked for Sheridan County School District 1 for nearly 30 years, had taken about $5,000 from the District to support her growing gambling addiction. She was arrested in October.
Judge Fenn told her that given the fact that she has virtually no criminal history and that “everybody can make a mistake”, he chose to give her the special sentence. He also told her that it is very important for her to make the necessary changes and take control of her life, to put this matter behind her. Otherwise, he warned, if she violates any part of her probation, which includes that she is to get counseling for her addiction, and she is not to participate in gambling of any kind, including office pools, she will face the possibility of prison.
District 1 Superintendent Sue Belish was present in court to show her friendship and support of the woman she had hired. She had gotten permission from the District's Board of Trustees, but she was not representing the District in court. She told Judge Fenn that she in no way condones what Yalowizer had done and that it was wrong; however, she would not turn her back on their friendship.
When asked if she had anything to say, Yalowizer tearfully told the judge that what she did “was wrong. I'm so sorry and am working every day on this problem. I made a mistake and am willing to take the lumps for it, but I hope you can forgive me.”