A former Passaic County Board of Social Services employee received a five-year probation sentence on Friday for food stamp theft.
Carol Austin, 62, of Paterson, was charged and pleaded guilty to theft and unauthorized use of food stamp coupons. She has been ordered to pay $9,995.84 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture which runs the food stamps program for low-income families.
Between November 2015 and May 2017, Austin used food stamp benefits that did not belong to her and she was not authorized to use, according to authorities. She was working as a clerk at the Passaic County Board of Social Services at the time and had access to food stamp cards turned in by clients and their family members.
Passaic County Superior Court judge Adam Jacobs entered an order in March requiring Austin to forfeit her employment. She is permanently barred from holding any public office or position of honor, trust or profit within the State of New Jersey.
Austin received a $69,916 salary in her position as clerk, according to public records. She worked as a clerk since 1985.
Austin is the mother of Paterson school board vice president Nakima Redmon.