Former Sheriff George sentenced to 9 months

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wallace Newman George Jr., formerly the longest-tenured sheriff in the state of Missouri and a member of the Saline County Sheriff's Department for more than 40 years, was sentenced to nine months in prison by the United States District Court in Jefferson City Tuesday, Feb. 7.

George pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2016, to stealing more than $75,000 in public funds, one day after retiring from his position as a stipulation of the plea agreement.

During his sentencing, the prosecution called into question George's acceptance of responsibility for his crimes due to a letter he authored and sent to members of the community on Feb. 24, 2016. In that letter, the court noted he attempted to make the investigation against his activities seem unjustified and attempted to remove himself from responsibility.

However, George addressed the court Tuesday and the court found that he sufficiently repudiated that letter and accepted responsibility for converting public funds for his personal use. George stated the funds had been placed either in his safe or in a trustee account along with his personal funds from a sale of land.

The court looked favorably on George's payment of full restitution in the amount of $78,911.20 prior to the sentencing proceedings, making the county of Saline whole again, at least monetarily. No additional fine was imposed by the court, other than a $100 fee for special assessment.

The judge passed sentence, following the prosecutor's recommendation, noting that the sentence was sufficient, yet not greater than necessary, and also did not create a disparity between this case and those with similar circumstances.

George will be granted a 45-day period to surrender himself for incarceration, no later than 2 p.m. on March 24. If he chooses, George has 14 days in which he can appeal the sentence.