NEW BRUNSWICK — A former New Brunswick adult school vice-principal was sentenced Wednesday to serve 364 days at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center for stealing $26,090 in student GED application fees, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
Patricia Ruggeri, 36, of East Brunswick also was ordered to repay the stolen funds and was banned forever from holding a public job in New Jersey.
The sentence was imposed in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz after Ruggeri pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking.
The guilty plea was entered under an agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas K. Mannion.
Ruggeri was arrested and charged on Nov. 9, 2012 after Investigator Lisa Collins of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Ruggeri took the funds while she worked for the New Brunswick Board of Education as the vice-principal of adult education.
The investigation determined that $26,090 was taken between April 2011 and July 2012. None of the students who paid application fees of up to $50 each was denied adult education services due to the thefts.
The investigation began after Ruggeri took a leave of absence. During her leave, school officials detected discrepancies in student fees and contacted authorities.
She resigned from her job at the beginning of the new school year in September 2012.
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