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Teacher loses job after pleading guilty to shoplifting

A highly regarded teacher in New York's neighboring state has been dismissed from her job because of property crimes. The woman, who had been part of the New Jersey Governor's Educator of the Year program, was caught shoplifting in 2016. The fourth-grade teacher had been dismissed from her job after being arrested for property crimes on two separate occasions.

Although administrators were concerned about the shoplifting incidents, they seem to be more upset about the fact that the teacher failed to notify the district about the theft charges within the mandated 14-day period. The woman was initially arrested for shoplifting at a mall store, but those charges were dropped and she was reinstated after taking a paid leave of absence. However, the teacher was again accused of theft crimes about a year later.

In that incident, the owner of a shop posted a video of the woman, who had not yet been identified. One of the teacher's students identified the teacher, who faced further far-reaching consequences for the shoplifting allegations. The woman in this case was dismissed by her employer after pleading guilty to the shoplifting, but she sought reinstatement because of mental health issues and prescription medication that she said drove her to steal under periods of high stress.

The woman in this case faced significant future impact because of the nature of the property crimes and her employment. Teachers and other public servants may be held to a higher standard than other workers -- and shoplifting charges can have a major effect on a defendant's ability to hold down a job. Defendants can fight these charges with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney in New York.

Source: Woodbridge Patch, "Well-Regarded Woodbridge Teacher Fired Over Shoplifting Charges," Carly Baldwin, Jan. 20, 2017

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