The former Emporia Senior Center director who pled no contest to a charge of stealing more than $100,000 from the organization was sentenced to a 17-month prison term Tuesday afternoon in Lyon County District Court.
Lannie Lyman was arrested in July 2018 after an investigation conducted by detectives with the Emporia Police Department alleged she had used the Senior Center’s bank card and cash from its Bingo and trust funds for personal purchases totaling $114,719.62.
Lyman accepted a plea deal in May, which grants her a possible 20 percent reduction of time served for good behavior and no possibility of parole. She will remain under supervision for 12 months following release.
District Court Judge Jeffry Larson said he was imposing the strictest penalty under Kansas law, and based on Lyman’s plea.
Lyman will also be required to pay restitution, though the amount has not yet been determined. Larson said any money earned by Lyman during her incarceration will be put toward that amount.
Emporia Senior Center Board President Karen Hartenbower read a prepared statement prior to Lyman’s sentencing, in which she said Lyman had ruined both the center’s credit and its reputation within the community.
“You spent our money on yourself and your wants, not caring anything about the seniors you professed to care about,” she said.
Hartenbower said the senior center had been in danger of shuttering its doors, but has managed to keep afloat. Further damage, she said, was the pain and betrayal of Lyman’s actions.
“I don’t know how we’ll ever build up the reserves you took,” she said. “We must go month-to-month and pray that no big expense hits. ... Our people were crushed that you had deceived them. We had board members cry, volunteers cry, even seniors at the center cried. They could not believe that you had done that to our seniors.”
Lyman said she was “ashamed” for the hurt she had caused and was prepared to take responsibility for her actions.
“I am ashamed of myself,” she said. “There are no words that I can say to express just how sorry I am. I have hurt a lot of people — people who have trusted me, people who have cared about me and people who have loved me and my family. I am sorry for every single one that I hurt.”
A restitution hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Lyon County District Court.