WAILUKU - A second former employee was ordered to help repay $3,515 that was stolen from the Molokai satellite office of the Maui County Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing.
With the support of the defense and prosecution, Shawna Lopez, 35, of Kaunakakai was given a chance to keep a felony theft conviction off her record if she complies with court requirements for the next five years.
She was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
Lopez had pleaded no contest to misapplication of entrusted property and second-degree theft of money from January 2011 to March 2012 while she was working at the Molokai satellite office.
The money was discovered missing during an audit, which was triggered by late deposits from the office, said Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage. The payments were late because Lopez and co-defendant Renee Montizor were "borrowing from the till and paying back," he said.
Littlepage recommended that Lopez receive the same sentence as Montizor did last month.
"It all started off as a 'monkey-see, monkey-do' scenario, following the lead of her supervisor," said Lopez's attorney, Jon Apo. "She's learned from this ordeal."
Apo said that Lopez has no prior contact with the criminal justice system and admitted what she had done early in the investigation.
"She's already lost her job," Apo said. "To compound things, she's now going to be responsible for the restitution."
Lopez faced "magnified public scrutiny on Molokai," he said.
In court Jan. 25, Lopez apologized. "It really hurt me and my family, what I did," she said. "I'm ashamed."
Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen found that Lopez was unlikely to commit another crime.