Alleged HEMSPN thief seeking public funds

LISBON – Sherri L. Phillips, the woman accused of stealing money from the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing, is seeking public funds to pay for an expert accountant.

Defense attorney James Hartford filed the motion in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court last week, noting the prosecutor’s office will have representatives from the state auditor’s office available to assist them. Hartford believes Phillips also needs expert resources available to go over the accounts Phillips is accused of stealing from and possibly testify on her behalf.

Because Phillips qualifies for a public defender, Hartford argued an indigent defendant is entitled to expert assistance.

Hartford proposed in his motion hiring Janice T. Jasinski – a certified public accountant, certified fraud examiner and chartered global management accountant. According to her resume, Jasinski has more than 21 years accounting and auditing experience.

She also is reportedly asking for a retainer of between $5,000 and $7,000, along with an hourly rate of $225 out of court and $240 in court.

The request will be considered by Judge C. Ashley Pike.

While employed as the secretary and fiscal officer of the Hannah E. Mullins school, Phillips is accused of failing to remit payments to the Salem City School District’s treasurer’s office totaling at least $7,730 from January 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010.

Additionally, prosecutors alleged the state auditor’s office determined $24,400 in cash and checks were not turned in between August and September 2010.