by Kyle Swenson
We're starting to sniff out a theme here in the police blotter. Seems the new thing to do for the desperate and depraved is to steal from kids' organizations. Earlier this week, we had the wife of a Parma Heights cop allegedly pocketing funds from a traveling soccer team. Now, another woman has pleaded guilty to a similar crime.
According to the News Herald, 39-year-old Jennifer Summers will spend the next three years on probation after copping to grand theft and identity theft charges. The felonies stem from when Summers was working at Achievement Centers for Children; she took more than $20,000 from the group.
The victim in this is what really stings. Achievement Centers for Children is a non-profit charity for kids “with a wide range of physical, emotional, neurological, or developmental disabilities,” according to the organization's web site. The center has three locations across Northeast Ohio; it's not clear where Summers worked or what she did, although the court did note she had a position of authority with the organization.
A position she thoroughly abused. Earlier this week we opined stealing from a youth soccer organization was a new low. We stand corrected.
For her part, Summers had no previous record, has made restitution, and in her apology to the court explained her back was against the wall — but even in her explanation, she probably could have chosen some better words. It sounds like she's punting the blame over to her husband. You decide:
Summers also said that she knows what she did was wrong, but that she was desperate.
“I was the sole support for my husband and my three children, and my husband only made the family situation worse,” she added.
“I simply fell apart under the burden of being the only adult in the family. Rather than remedy my family’s problems, I have only made them worse.”