Former McLennan County Justice of the Peace E. Jean Laster Boone arriving for sentencing Monday morning. (Photo by Christina Truong)
WACO (December 16, 2013) Former McLennan County Justice of the Peace E. Jean Laster Boone eluded jail time and was sentenced to probation Monday morning after she pleaded guilty earlier to falsifying office mileage reports.
Judge Ralph Strother in 19th District Court on Monday sentenced Boone to 3 years deferred adjudication probation, ordered her to pay $5,120 in restitution to the county, serve 300 hours community service and pay a $1,000 fine.
Deferred adjudication means if Boone successfully completes her probation she’ll have no record of a conviction.
Boone pleaded guilty on Oct. 22 to two counts of tampering with government records in a case involving falsified mileage reports.
She also submitted a letter of resignation to McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.
"We admitted our problem with the record keeping and we accepted full responsibility and this is part of the process of accepting the responsibility and we look forward to the results of the presentence investigation," Laster Boone's attorney, Thomas West, said after the hearing in October.
Boone was arrested on Sept. 20 after a closed-door meeting with Texas Rangers and Pct. 1 Pl. 2 Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson at the McLennan County Courthouse and was later released on a $2,500 bond.
The Texas Rangers obtained an arrest warrant for her arrest following an investigation that started this summer into possible discrepancies in the travel reimbursement reports that Boone's office submitted.
In June, Reyna asked the Rangers to review the records after former employees claimed Boone told them to falsify the mileage on the documents.
Rangers later questioned the employees, who confirmed the incidents, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Boone was allowed to claim a maximum of $360 a month in reimbursement for use of her personal vehicle on county business and is paid by the mile.
The affidavit said one of the former employees told Rangers Boone directed employees "to figure out the miles so she could get the maximum amount."
"Basically all the mileage was made up and the judge did not provide any information on her car or the actual miles driven," the affidavit said.
Documents obtained earlier by News 10 show that the mileage reports she's submitted for the past year almost all add up to exactly $360 each month.
In several cases, the final odometer reading that Laster reported at the end of the month was as much as 1,000 miles more than the starting reading that appeared on the next month's report.
County Auditor Stan Chambers received copies of e-mails from Laster to the now-former employees directing the workers to prepare daily mileage reports without any proof the miles were actually driven and said he turned those over to the Texas Rangers, as well.