HONESDALE – On Thursday morning, Honesdale Borough Councilman Harry DeVrieze was sentenced for one count of theft by deception.
DeVrieze faces 12 months probation and must complete 50 hours of community service within three months.
He also has to pay the cost of prosecution, refrain from the use of any controlled substance, submit to random drug testing and pay a $50 supervision fee during probation.
DeVrieze is the owner of Lakeland Stair and Millwork in Honesdale. He was charged last spring for one count of theft by deception, a misdemeanor, for taking $4,500 from a client for work he never performed.
He has paid full restitution and plead guilty Dec. 19, 2014.
“He's [Harry] hard working and is community minded,” said DeVrieze's lawyer Steven Burlein on Thursday. “He really cares about the borough.
“He loves having his own business and loves the field he's in, but the money isn't always there. He's embarrassed and ashamed at what he did.
'I don't believe you'll see him in this court again.”
DeVrieze also had the chance to speak.
“I've learned a very important lesson,” he stated. “No matter how much you learn in business, there's always room to improve. That was a very invaluable lesson that came from this [incident].”
President Judge Raymond Hamill addressed DeVrieze saying, “you plead guilty, which I take to your credit.”
He also credited DeVrieze for paying restitution.
“You said you were going through a difficult time,” Hamill stated. “Your wife was ill and you're dealing with some mental health issues.”
DeVrieze doesn't have a record, but there were two similar offenses that took place in 2010 and 2011. Those charges were both withdrawn.
“Honestly, the only reason you aren't having a harsher sentence is because you paid restitution,” Hamill stated.
DeVrieze is still able to serve on council.