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Plea deal eyed in Derry football boosters' cash loss

| Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A tentative plea agreement struck Wednesday would help a football boosters organization recoup more than $27,000 and allow a Derry Township woman to avoid jail time.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Pacek said Lori Marie Nicely, 49, must pay $8,000 in restitution by Sept. 18 and prosecutors will recommend a two-year probation term in exchange for a guilty plea.

Nicely, the former president of the Derry Area Football Boosters Club, was arrested in June on accusations that she stole $27,711 from the organization over three seasons, according to police.

Nicely is charged with theft, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

She waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday before Derry Township District Judge Mark Bilik. Nicely's attorney, Jason Huska, declined to comment.

The plea bargain must be approved by a judge before it becomes official.

According to an affidavit filed by state police, thefts occurred during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Nicely is accused of not reporting the full amount of donations and instead putting a portion of the funds into a personal account, police said.

The boosters board fired Nicely after questioning her about the missing funds. She had returned about $8,200 to a football coach at the time.

Boosters President Jodie Edmiston said Wednesday that Nicely has repaid $10,500 to the organization, which has since changed its accounting procedures.

If the deal receives the blessing of the court, Nicely would serve probation under the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Entry into the ARD program is not an admission of guilt. Once the probationary period is successfully completed, a participant can seek to have her criminal record expunged.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini @tribweb.com.

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