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Several DHS workers have been prosecuted

Some of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services workers caught in wrongdoing at work ended up being prosecuted, too.
BY NOLAN CLAY, RANDY ELLIS AND ROBBY TRAMMELL Published: December 25, 2011
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Some of the DHS workers caught in wrongdoing at work ended up being prosecuted, too.

The DHS worker who stole Christmas gift cards was charged with a misdemeanor, petit larceny.

Deborah Jean “Kasey” Parrish, 55, of Cherokee, was fired in August 2009 after pleading guilty.

A bank had donated nine Visa gift cards to be Christmas presents for foster children. They had been placed in gift bags to be handed out along with other presents, records show. A worker discovered four were missing three days before Christmas in 2008.

Parrish claimed she found four $50 cards on Dec. 17, 2008, in the DHS employee parking lot in Alva. She admitted using the cards to make personal purchases at J.C. Penney, Hobby Lobby, Cato and Walmart.

Parrish pleaded guilty in June 2009 to four counts of petit larceny and was put on probation for 30 months. She had to pay $1,649 in fines, fees and court costs and $200 in restitution. She was a social services specialist who had worked at DHS for 14 years.

In a discharge notice, she was told: “Your actions in using the Visa gift cards that belonged to someone else demonstrate you cannot be trusted to complete your job duties in the ethical and honorable manner required.”

Stole from elderly

A DHS worker who stole from elderly DHS clients was fired on Nov. 25, 2008. She eventually pleaded guilty to three felony charges of exploiting a vulnerable adult.

Debra Maxine Roberts, 53, of Chelsea, is on three years' probation. She also was required to serve a 30-day term in the Rogers County jail last year and to make restitution.

“I regret any harm which I have caused these individuals,” she wrote in a statement for a presentence report.

Prosecutors allege she stole $4,497 from an 84-year-old man, $5,905 from a 74-year-old mentally disabled man and $900 from an incapacitated 73-year-old man.

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