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Cookies crumble

March 24, 2009

Re "Theft of cookie cash nets 30 days," March 17

A bookkeeper for Girl Scout troops in Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe stole $13,000 from Scouts' cookie sales and other funds and "said she had planned to pay back the money before the theft was discovered." Judge Robert Kearney gave her just 30 days in jail, plus three years' probation.

Now, if a street gangster or drug addict took just $100 worth of Scout cookie sales from a shopping center stand at knifepoint, this same judge would probably have given him 10 years, not 30 days.

Is the betrayal, loss of trust and erasure of days of hard work by dozens of Girl Scouts -- selling thousands of cookie boxes, one or two at a time -- worth just 30 days' punishment? Does a white collar make it less of a crime?

Isn't this really another Bernie Madoff, writ local and writ small?

Lee Moldaver

Santa Barbara

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