Former Callaway County collector sentenced for embezzling from taxpayers
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Pam Oestreich, the former Callaway County collector who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $300,000, was sentenced Monday to at least 30 months in prison.
In court, Oestreich tearfully admitted to having a gambling problem, calling her thefts, "pure self-entitlement."
According to prosecutors, Oestreich used taxpayer funds for her own use over 100 times, moving taxpayer funds between Callaway County bank accounts to conceal her theft.
Oestreich resigned when bank employees noted the strange activity and a county prosecutor brought it to the attention of the Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism, who in turn brought in the FBI.
Longtime Fulton resident Marc Vaucher said he thinks Oestreich got off easy.
"It doesn't sound like much for what she did," he said. "If you're a political person, you're in office, you ought to get more than anybody on the street."
Vaucher said the news of Oestreich's theft was a betrayal of everyone's trust.
"I voted for her, my wife voted for her," he said. "And you feel like they really deceived you."
Vaucher said that's not the way public service should be.
"They ask you for your vote, they ask you for a job to serve the community and then they're stand up stealing from you?" he said.
Chism said it's time for Callaway County elected officials to earn back taxpayer trust.
But Vaucher said that will be easier said than done.
In addition to prison time, the judge ordered Oestriech to pay $379,000 in restitution and serve three years of supervised probation on her release.