LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A former employee of the Opelousas Housing Authority has been sentenced to two years of probation in a federal investigation of bid-rigging that also snagged the agency's former director and an area contractor.
The Advocate reports 76-year-old Garnette L. Thomas, the agency's former grant and capital funds coordinator, pleaded guilty last year to fraud charges.
She faced up to 16 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote said Friday she opted for probation because of her age, cooperation with investigators and lack of a criminal record.
Foote also fined Thomas $5,000, ordering that it be paid within 10 days. Before sentencing, Thomas made only a brief statement: "Your honor, I'm very sorry."
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