Saline County sheriff pleads guilty to stealing nearly $79,000 in public funds

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SALINE COUNTY, Mo. -- One of the longest-serving sheriffs in Missouri is out of a job after admitting to stealing public money Tuesday.

Wallace Newman George, 70, of Corder, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of stealing from an organization that receives federal funds.

George has served as the sheriff of Saline County, which is east of the metro, since 1979.

The 70-year-old resigned Monday as part of a plea agreement in which he admits to taking checks meant for the county that totaled to nearly $79,000.  Those checks were prisoner transportation reimbursements paid from the state to Saline County.

According to court documents, the state issued 34 reimbursement checks for prisoner extradition and transportation between Jan. 28, 2010, and June 30, 2015, which totaled approximately $97,083. Approximately 75 percent, or $71,994, was for mileage reimbursement and the remainder for meals and other expenses.

As part of his plea agreement, George paid back the money he admitted to stealing, $51,162, on Friday, Feb. 5. On Tuesday he paid $27,749 in restitution to the state.

Prosecutors are asking for a one year prison sentence for George.