NORFOLK, Va., (WAVY) - The lawyer for the woman indicted in the no-show worker case told 10 On Your Side his client is innocent.
Brenda Wise, a former director of administration for the Norfolk Community Services Board, was indicted on for embezzlement Wednesday.
Wise was the boss of Jill McGlone, who was a administrative assistant at the Norfolk CSB. For 12 years, McGlone got paychecks from the Norfolk CSB, but never came to work.
Andrew Sacks, Wise's attorney, told WAVY.com his client is being used a scapegoat in a case that ignited a scandal for the CSB.
If charged with felony embezzlement, Sacks said Wise could spend anywhere between two and 10 years in the behind bars. Sacks said his client isn't guilty of stealing and feels the case never should have reached a courtroom.
"This is an abuse of the criminal law to charge an employee for failing to act in a timely manner in terminating another employee," Sacks said. "It's absurd."
McGlone received more than $300,000 after she was placed on suspension in 1998. The grand jury that indicted Wise believes she knowingly signed off on McGlone's paychecks. Sacks said Wise didn't break the law, but made an administrative error.
"I think she acknowledges that she could have handled the situation with this employee better, but that is where the matter should end," Sacks said. "It's a personnel issue."
Sacks said it is unfair that the woman who cashed in those paychecks was never charged, all the while his client is taking the fall for the no-show worker scandal.
"It's been a bit of a mob mentality that somebody has to pay for this bureaucratic error and they have strung Brenda Wise up to do that," Sacks said.
It's this mentality Sacks said will make it hard for Wise to get a fair trial in Norfolk.
"This community is not of the objective and disinterested mind, we need in a jury of peers to fairly judge her in a criminal trial," Sacks said.
Sacks said if this case does make it to trial, he plans to ask for a change of venue. He is trying to get the case tossed out before it ever gets that far. A trial date for Wise has not been set yet.
Police say a 19-year-old was shot Thursday evening in Newport News.
Three separate crashes on Interstate 664 occurred at the same time Thursday morning, causing headaches for motorists.
A man who was able to elude capture for more than two decades was finally found in Norfolk.
North Carolina transportation officials say the Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks could reopen next week if dredged sand placed around exposed pilings compacts well.
Newport News Police are still looking for a killer more than four years after a 17-year-old was shot dead.
An Amtrak train carrying more than 40 passengers was involved in an accident with a car Thursday morning in Waverly. The driver of the car is facing multiple charges.
A boil water advisory has been issued in Corolla after a water line break.