A former secretary to the Passaic County Superintendent of Elections has been sentenced to seven (7) years in New Jersey State Prison for stealing more than $384,000 in public funds.
As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Ridgefield resident Yanira Martinez agreed to plead guilty toofficial misconduct and second degree theft.
Ms. Martinez’s duties while working for Superintendant of Elections Laura Freyes included being responsible for issuing checks to the U.S. Postal Service for the large amounts of ballots and sample ballots mailed out by the elections office each year.
Beginning in February 2008, Ms. Martinez routinely issued payments for more than the amounts actually owed by the elections office. Ms. Martinez then diverted the excess funds into her personal bank accounts.
Ms. Martinez began working at the office in 2006, earning an annual salary of just under $45,000.00. Shortly after her arrest in June 2010, she was relieved of her duties.
As a result of her plea deal, Ms. Martinez will not be eligible for parole for at least five (5) years. Additionally, she has been ordered to repay to Passaic County more than $384,000.00 in stolen funds.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Former Passaic County Elections Worker Sentenced to Seven Years for Stealing $384K.”