Water Co. theft results in prison time
SEARCY (KATV) -
A White County woman has admitted to stealing $360,000.00 from her former employer.
Seven-On-Your-Side helped expose the theft nearly two years ago.
Now, we know how much time Diana Woodle will spend in prison.
Had Woodle gone to trial next week, she risked losing and getting up to 20 years in prison.
Instead, she admits guilt and gets seven years.
Of course, with time off for good behavior, Woodle could be out in as few as fourteen months, which her attorney says was a major consideration for his client.
"She has a desire to get out before he child goes to high school,” says attorney Paul Petty of Searcy. “Which is a year from May. So May of '19. And she wants to be out by then. She is very concerned about that."
Brandon Johnson says he would love to see his daughters, too.
Woodle's co-defendant is accused of stealing much, much less but says he has paid a much, much higher price.
"I just want to get my life back man,” says Johnson. “I haven't got to see my kids. Lost my mom. Lost my family."
Lost his job and lost his relationship with Dee and Diana Woodle.
Woodle was more than just Johnson's boss at the Southeast White County Water Association. She did his taxes. He shared holiday dinners with the Woodles. Johnson describes Dee Woodle as the father he never had.
But now Johnson faces an uncertain future without an attorney.
"When you were in court today you fired your attorneys. Why?
"Because they told me that I wouldn't get a fair trial,” explains Johnson. “And that they couldn't help me. They just pretty much, he pretty much told me I was stupid for not taking a plea bargain. And I refuse to take a plea bargain. Because it has been going on for this long, you know. I deserve a fair trial."
Johnson has until February 7th to find a new attorney. He hopes that new attorney will request a change of venue. He believes Dee Woodle's status as a White county deputy hurts his chances at a fair trial.
Johnson shared with us some recent images taken by security cameras at his home. He says they show White County deputies visiting his property on numerous occasions for no apparent reason.
Air date: January 3rd, 2018