One of the first things you are taught in Sunday school is also one of the Ten Commandments: though shall not steal. With that in mind, you'd think stealing from a church would be doubly dubious, right? Well, maybe you don't see it that way if you're 40-year old Maquoketa resident Anne Marie Duffy-Doherty. You see, she has admitted to spending over $43,000 in Maquoketa United Church of Christ’s money.

But, she's offering to pay back a mere $2,459.22 in order to avoid jail time and paying back the full $43K. Don't bother with the math, $2,459.22 is not even a full 6% of the cash she already admitted to stealing.

Duffy-Doherty stole the money while she was employed by the church

According to a story in the Maquoketa Setinal-Press, Duffy-Doherty worked as a church secretary during the time she stole the money. She used the church credit card to buy stuff from, as the story calls them, 'multiple websites'. She did this between late 2019 and mid-2020. All total, she purchased $14,000 online using the church's credit card. I am going to go out on a limb and assume she did not buy anything from the church with that $14K.

Oh, but Saint Duffy-Doherty wasn't done there. In early  2020, Duffy-Doherty forged someone's name on 21 United Church of Christ checks to cover some of those unauthorized credit card purchases she made. She was not authorized to even sign the checks, which were worth more than $13,600 total.

Duffy-Doherty is willing to give back... a tiny bit

Duffy-Doherty said she'd pay back $2,459.22 in restitution monies to the Maquoketa United Church of Christ on the theft charge. Regarding the even more severe forgery charge, Duffy-Doherty would avoid prison if her plea were accepted, and would also get out of a $1,025 fine.

The plea would also get Duffy-Doherty a 10-year suspended jail sentence and three years of supervised probation. WOW... so severe. Insert an eye-roll emoji here, please. Let's hope the judge at her sentencing on June 25 at the Jackson County Courthouse has more sense than to accept it.

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