By Mark Hamilton
The Lima News
OTTAWA, Ohio — A former employee of the Putnam County Jail earned a 90-day jail sentence Friday for attempted bribery after admitting to trying to bribe a fellow corrections officer so she could have access to an inmate.
Laurie Watt, 47, 409 W. Park St., Lafayette, was sentenced to 90 days jail for attempted bribery. Watt was placed on five years’ community control and given credit for one day served. A charge of dereliction of duty was dismissed.
Watt was accused of paying Putnam County Corrections Officer Richard Emry $100 to take his post for the purpose of having unsupervised access to Putnam County Jail inmate William Miller and providing him with contraband last March. Watt was terminated by Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker March 6.
Before pronouncing sentence, Putnam County Common Pleas Judge Keith Schierloh asked Watt about her relationship with Miller. Watt admitted being involved with Miller for six months before getting engaged to Miller last March.
Schierloh asked why Watt risked her position to bring Miller food and drink as well as taking Miller to the bathroom and kissing him. Watt replied she cared about him. The judge acknowledged Watt’s genuine remorse for her actions helped her case.
“I strongly considered sending you to prison today,” Schierloh told her. “You put your life in jeopardy and others who worked there.”
Miller was sentenced March 2 by Schierloh to a year in prison for a charge of theft, to be served concurrent to a case in Union County and to pay $1,369.96 to Village Hardware, Leipsic.
Watt was ordered not to use drugs or alcohol or medications without a prescription. She was given credit for one day served and will be eligible for work release after 10 days. Watt must report to jail at 8 a.m. Wednesday, giving her time to make arrangements with her employer.