Middletown city employee’s charges in Kohl’s theft case dismissed

A Middletown woman and her sister have completed a diversion program and had their petty theft charge dismissed in Middletown Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Nadine Begley, 64, and her sister Robin Conley, 62, were caught taking clothing items from the Kohl’s store in Middletown on July 8. Both said they were exchanging merchandise purchased online at the Middletown store.

Begley is the administrative assistant to Middletown City Manager Doug Adkins. She has been a city employee for the past nine years with an annual salary of $54,189.

Begley was placed on paid administrative leave from the city on July 11, and city officials have conducted an internal investigation. However, her job status was not clear as of Tuesday afternoon.

“We are aware of the court proceedings (Tuesday). Ms. Begley is still on administrative leave as of (Tuesday),” said Shelby Quinlivan, city spokeswoman.

After being questioned by Middletown police, both women sad they were making an even exchange of merchandise purchased online and insisted they were not stealing. Both women were issued summonses to appear in Middletown Municipal Court on July 10.

Special Prosecutor Steve Runge said both women completed a 10-hour social responsibility class and have written letters of apology to Kohl’s prior to Tuesday’s pre-trial conference. The first-degree misdemeanor charge was withdrawn at the prosecutor’s request.

Runge said they were placed on diversion because they had no criminal history and there was no monetary loss to the store.

“We usually do this for first-time offenders,” Runge said. “In her case it was stupidity. What she was attempting to do was a self-help merchandise exchange.”

Runge, who is the Franklin city prosecutor, was appointed to serve as special prosecutor because Begley was a city employee. The case also had a visiting judge, retired Judge Robert Messham.

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