Former church secretary sent to prison

A former secretary at a Hamblen County church has been sentenced to a federal prison term in the theft of $1.5 million from the congregation.

Barbara Whitt (Photo: Hamblen Co. Sheriff's Office/ Morristown Police Department)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former secretary at a Hamblen County church has been sentenced to a federal prison term in the theft of $1.5 million from the congregation.

A 44-month prison term was imposed Thursday on 70-year-old Barbara D. Whitt, who choked up as she apologized in federal court at Greeneville, according to the Citizen Tribune.

U.S. District Court Judge Leon Jordan told Whitt he was obligated to send her to prison as a message about abuse of positions of trust.

The Rev. Dr. H. Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church of Morristown, testified, telling Whitt the church harbors no bitterness toward her.

Whitt will serve her time at a federal prison in Lexington, Ky., and be on three years of supervised probation when she is released.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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