By Drew Moody
For the Hur Herald


For the second time in a month, Circuit Judge Jack Alsop looked across the bench at Michelle Dawn Rose, standing before him convicted of embezzling thousands of dollars from Gilmer County taxpayers.

Rose was formerly a tax clerk in the sheriff's office and devised an elaborate scheme to steal money from daily tax receipts.

This continued unabated and undetected for about nine months until property owners called complaining their names had been published in delinquint tax ads dispite that they'd paid their bill on time.

"The court has given this case a great deal of consideration," Judge Alsop said Monday morning. It was perhaps a deja-vu moment he had grown weary of, telling attorneys he didn't want to rehash the entire matter regarding sentencing recommendations again.

Last month the judge abruptly ended a similar hearing to allow time for a restitution plan to be created. "This court will not be held hostage," he said, "I'll either have a plan, or I won't."

Despite this, and that Rose's family has since made full restitution in excess of $12,000, there was still a noticable hesitation as the sentence was announced.

Alsop told the court there were "very troubling issues" in the case.

"Not less than one, nor more than 10 years," supended and placed on home confinement, Judge Alsop declared. One can only speculate the court may have felt more should have been required of Rose. Or perhaps there was a nagging doubt she'd been let off the hook too easily?

Rose must pay for the electronic monitor, and can only leave her home with permission of the probation officer.

"The defendent can file a motion for reconsideration at some point in time," the Judge said. "Depending on how things go, I'll consider that motion."

Both the Gilmer County Commission and Sheriff Mickey Metz wrote letters to the court saying there was no objection to probation providing full restitution was made by June 30, 2006.

"I think justice was done. We got full restitution," said Sheriff Metz after the hearing.

"Anything short of prison is a plus," added defense attorney John Oshoway of Grantsville.

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