In a Warren County courtroom the wheels of justice ground to a screeching halt. Convicted of embezzlement, Helen Cockrell was sent home, smiling, with probation, home confinement (very liberal rules), community service, and two months to pay court cost.
This former director of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging took money that was meant for the senior citizens of the Lord Fairfax Planning District. It was more importan, for her daughter to have a trip to New York than it was for seniors to have necessary services...
This person who was hired and paid quite well to advocate for and protect the seniors chose instead to steal from them. It has taken this agency many, many months to try to get back to the standards it possessed before Helen Cockrell.
This was a robust agency, serving many, with many diverse programs. It was reduced, thanks to Cockrell to a program without funds, without community trust, and without leadership. It was in fact a rudderless ship, floundering.
Marsha LaBrecht, an employee under Cockrell, very succinctly explained how this felony impacted the seniors, and the entire staff at the agency.
Does the fact that one has served their country, and has never been in trouble make it OK to steal from the most helpless, most vulnerable, most frail? Not in my opinion. However the court apparently did not share my opinion.
I totally agree with the prosecutor. There is no remorse, only arrogance. Her apology came across like an apology would have from David, after killing Goliath. Simply not believable
I have to wonder why this judge, while having guidelines, chose to simply take the easy course. Cockrell is smiling all the way home, after saying she hopes one day the seniors will forgive her. The seniors who died because of her will not have the luxury. Justice gone wrong, plain and simple.
Betty Ann Journel, Winchester