CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Three former Cherokee County court reporters will spend the next several months in jail after they pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
Prosecutors charged Betty Petersen, Kimberly Probst, and Tammy Stine with racketeering and theft charges after investigators discovered they used smaller margins when preparing court transcripts. The smaller margins led to more pages, which translates into high transcription bills for taxpayers and attorneys.
Prosecutors say the three women had been doing this since 2006.
All three pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering.
In return, Cobb County Judge Mary Staley sentenced them to several years probation with four to eight months of probation. In addition, all three must pay restitution. Stine arrived in court with a check for $225,000.
Staley scolded the three women for what she called a violation of public trust.
"What you all did rotted what was going on in Cherokee County," said Staley.
"People will look to see what happens because if all of you aren't held accountable, then how can we hold anyone accountable? To violate the public trust in the way that you did, it is corruption. It is rotten and it must be addressed."
After the hearing, deputies took the women straight to jail.