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Former state school chief Linda Schrenko out of prison

63-year-old in halfway house

Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:34 PM
Last updated Friday, March 8, 2013 1:53 AM
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Linda Schrenko, the former state school superintendent and Columbia County teacher whose political career was derailed by embezzlement while in office, has been released from federal prison to a halfway house.

Ex-school chief Linda Schrenko embezzled money going to children.  GREGORY SMITH
GREGORY SMITH
Ex-school chief Linda Schrenko embezzled money going to children.


Schrenko, 63, began transit Wednesday to her new home and will be supervised by Atlanta probation services, said Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke, who wouldn’t release her location out of safety concerns.

The Columbia County Republican served all but about six months of the eight-year prison sentence she received in 2006 for embezzling hundreds of thousands in federal funding from the state Department of Education while working as state superintendent from 1994 to 2002.

After she completes the last months of her sentence in home confinement, Schrenko will serve three years in the federal probation program. She also was ordered to pay $414,888 in restitution.

According to trial testimony in 2006, Schrenko and her deputy superintendent, Merle Temple, funneled money earmarked to help physically disabled children into her failed 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

Temple was to receive a break on his sentence by cooperating with the government, but that deal fell through when Schrenko revealed he was prepared to lie to protect her. They had been having an affair. Schrenko and Temple both pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 97 months on Sept. 12, 2006.

South African businessman Stephan Botes, whose company was used to funnel some of the embezzled money, was convicted and in September 2006 was sentenced to 97 months in prison. Botes’ employee Peter Steyn was acquitted of all criminal charges.

Temple, a political activist in Augusta, has already completed his prison term. He returned to his native Alabama and lives in Birmingham. He has written a book, A Ghostly Shade of Pale, that he is currently promoting.

Comments (36) Add comment
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Dixieman
17609
Points
Dixieman 03/07/13 - 03:01 pm
5
4
HELP! ALL OF DIXIEMAN'S POINTS HAVE BEEN SEQUESTERED!

She will be moving into Scott Dean's family home after the halfway house.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/07/13 - 03:00 pm
0
0
politicians!
Unpublished

Ain't nothin' like 'em.

grinder48
2059
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grinder48 03/07/13 - 03:03 pm
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What happened to the $
Unpublished

How dispicable is it to funnel money earmarked to help physically disabled children into a campaign fund?!?! Were Schrenko and the others required to repay the money?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 03/07/13 - 03:08 pm
6
1
Hope she can adjust back into

Hope she can adjust back into society once her debt is paid. She was a nice lady at South Columbia

soapy_725
44151
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soapy_725 03/07/13 - 03:10 pm
1
0
Beware of a political comeback. Beware deaf children.
Unpublished

Has she made restitution? Is that a tenant of her faith? Austin will once again be her cheerleader. Political choices do not the man make.

scoopdedoop64
2520
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scoopdedoop64 03/07/13 - 03:55 pm
5
2
Hope She Has A Chance

Please don't misunderstand me, I don't think she should ever be put over money or hold an office again. But I do hope that people will understand that she has admitted her crime and paid the price. She deserves a new start and I hope she get one and makes the best of it. Many will still be angry with her which is to be expected but I hope she has a chance because if it were me I would want a new start.

Darby
29544
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Darby 03/07/13 - 05:59 pm
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1
Where is she gonna come up with.....

$414,888.00? Gonna be tough to do, working at some blue collar job, even if someone is willing to hire her..

scoopdedoop64
2520
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scoopdedoop64 03/07/13 - 06:13 pm
3
3
She Has A Retirement Fund

She may have a retirement fund that she draws on every month and it will be cut in half until all is paid back. Not to mention other assets that might be available so she can do it over time. Hopefully, she has learned a big lesson. I understand that she tutored other prisoners in jail. She is not perfect but it looks like she is trying real hard. She has had no disciplinary issues in jail that was ever made public.

debbiep38
460
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debbiep38 03/07/13 - 06:30 pm
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Don't worry Scoop,
Unpublished

I'm sure she will declare her intentions of running for political office soon. Well at least she won't be an incumbent.

fedex227
11187
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fedex227 03/07/13 - 10:24 pm
6
4
Are you guys nuts?!?!
Unpublished

She stole more than $600,000 in federal education money geared toward programs for honors students and two schools for the deaf. Once convicted for these crimes she sued the government “for illegally forwarding, seizing and retaining” about $195,000 of her retirement funds to be used toward restitution.

"Hope she can adjust and come back into society...she was a nice lady."

"She deserves a new start."

"She tutored other prisoners in jail ... she is trying real hard."

She stole from the deaf!! She sued the government when they tried to recoup their money. This is the person everyone is so ready to forgive? Unbelievable!

Darby
29544
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Darby 03/08/13 - 12:08 am
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1
I'm not nuts....

I was pretty close to this woman and saw up close just how she screwed over everybody. Not just the kids, but before that, the people who invested their time and energy into getting her elected. She was a real piece of work.

You think Frankenstein was shocked by the monster he created? Still, she has served her time. Let's see now what she does with the rest of her life.

GiantsAllDay
10562
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GiantsAllDay 03/08/13 - 12:13 am
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Is the photo attached to this

Is the photo attached to this article before or after the facelift?

itsanotherday1
48420
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itsanotherday1 03/08/13 - 12:42 am
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2
Just like everyone else

Just like everyone else coming out of prison after serving their sentence for crimes committed; she deserves a fair shake at being a productive citizen.

I sincerely wish every convict could come out of prison, be productive, and never commit another crime. Don't you? Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if they did?

my.voice
5182
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my.voice 03/08/13 - 06:58 am
4
1
Anyone know what her state

Anyone know what her state pension is per month?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 03/08/13 - 08:23 am
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1
I get it now fedex. You

I get it now fedex. You think punishment should've been harder. I can see that by how you weigh-in so often on the threads about murderers and rapists being let out of jail after serving the time your judges sentenced them to. Really? Sure you're not just grinding that ax a little b/c she was so prominent? Just be honest. I'll believe you.

Little Lamb
49260
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Little Lamb 03/08/13 - 08:26 am
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Compassion and Forgiveness

I, too, wish her the best and hope she has some productive years and makes some new, solid relationships.

soapy_725
44151
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soapy_725 03/08/13 - 08:56 am
1
0
She committed felonious crimes, stealing from the state,
Unpublished

her employer, and she still gets retirement and benefits. Ain't govment jobs grand. No wonder despots spend $500K to get a $12k a year job.
Bribe, cheat, steal and murder to get govment jobs. And we are worried about the minimum wage. LOL LOL

Rehabilitated? We don't think so. She will be involved in some sort of scam within a year, two at the most. She may start with a Joyce Myers type seminar. Joyce was a former prostitute. Shrenko is a former thief from deaf children.

"How Getting Caught Changed My Life". And it can change yours, kindly deposit $3500.

seenitB4
98695
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seenitB4 03/08/13 - 09:23 am
5
4
Give her a chance

When do we stop punishing a wrong....ever...Martha Stewart has gone on with life...this woman can too...
i didn't think they could attach retirement funds....did OJ pay back any money??

Jake
34136
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Jake 03/08/13 - 10:23 am
5
1
Another Chance

Well, she is attractive, blonde and most importantly, a Columbia County Republican. Of course she should be given another chance.
I hope she has learned her lesson that you should wait until you are actually elected before you start to embezzle.

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/08/13 - 11:30 am
3
1
Forgiveness is just a word

to some of the people who post comments. She should be forgiven, even if she should never be given certain kinds of responsibility or authority ever again.

People who refuse to forgive have a far bigger rock to push than do the sinners they would punish forever. Some people just want limitless revenge rather than proportional punishment.

The bottom line on Schrenko is that she is unlikely to cause any more trouble for the citizens of Georgia, or anywhere else, for the rest of her life. Greed does not necessarily indicate a person is also a sociopath the way criminal violence often does.

Swatbad
448
Points
Swatbad 03/08/13 - 11:35 am
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2
When Charles Walker comes home.....

I truly hope you guys and gals are this forgiving when Charles Walker returns to Augusta!!! LMBO!

XXYY
27
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XXYY 03/08/13 - 11:59 am
3
3
My My My

I must apologize for whoever I insulted. I really could care less about Walker or Schrenko and what they do with their lives when they are released. I sit and read everyday how blacks are condemned when they are released or have committed a crime, but when a white person does the same thing, the posters on here wants to rush and give them a hug and tell them everything will be alright. I can agree with you people, Augusta will never progress because it will always be a black/white thing!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 03/08/13 - 01:06 pm
4
1
Maybe Mr. Walker would have

Maybe Mr. Walker would have received some encouragement also, maybe not. Now that you have brought a taint to his release, we certainly won't be able to judge that objectively will we? So preemptive thanks for that. How is recognizing something said in an article showing pity? She absolutely was a nice lady from my pov so I have nothing further to go on. Why am i acting racially for basing my opinions on first-hand knowledge? I take offense to your claim, but I wasn't the one to clip your wings there xxyy. Just stop letting antiquated attitudes skew your perspective before you post.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
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HenryWalker3rd 03/08/13 - 01:07 pm
2
6
They are Princesses
Unpublished

Blonde, White women and girls.

Darby
29544
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Darby 03/08/13 - 01:20 pm
6
3
Hank, is everyting with you about race....

Sure does seem that way...

Darby
29544
Points
Darby 03/08/13 - 01:22 pm
4
1
"Is the photo attached to this article before....

or after the facelift?"

Why? You just wanting to see where your money went Giants..?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/08/13 - 01:29 pm
6
3
x2

Hank, is everyting with you about race....

Sure does seem that way...

Darby
29544
Points
Darby 03/08/13 - 01:30 pm
7
2
"I sit and read everyday how blacks are condemned...

when they are released or have committed a crime, but when a white person does the same thing, the posters on here wants to rush and give them a hug and tell them everything will be alright. "
.

If you had wanted to be accurate, you would have said, "some posters" instead of "the posters" but then that would not play into your stereotype would it?

Have you read MY post from 12:08 am? Looks like you skipped than one and quite a few by other posters.

Would it make you happy if someone were to suggest water-boarding her?

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/08/13 - 01:55 pm
1
1
Anybody else hear it?

Listen... can you?

Fiat_Lux
16445
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Fiat_Lux 03/08/13 - 02:07 pm
4
0
Anybody else hear it?

You know, that great sucking sound of the persecution-fixation black hole of our culture? It's going full-tilt today.

This article isn't really about Schrenko at all. It's really and only and always about persecution of, being unfair to, and hating on black Americans all day, everyday.

NOTHING ELSE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS ISSUE!!! WHY CAN'T WE WHITE PEOPLE GET THAT THROUGH OUR THICK WHITE SKULLS? EVER!

Ok [hack, hack, cough, sniff], I feel better now.

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