BELFAST — A former clerk for the town of Troy pleaded guilty Tuesday in Waldo County Superior Court to embezzling nearly $20,000 in town funds.

Kathy Mattingly, 56, was arrested in June after she confessed to the embezzlement during an interview with a Waldo County Sheriff’s Office detective.

Mattingly’s attorney, Nathan Bell, said he and the state still are negotiating sentencing arrangements for the class C felony conviction of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. A class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

He said Mattingly has serious medical problems and requires constant portable oxygen. Because of this, he said, it would be most appropriate for her to be placed under house arrest.

“This is a very sick lady,” he said.

The chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Brian Piper, did not immediately return a request for comment. Town Clerk Aimee Nelson said the town may have a comment at a later date.

Mattingly was clerk for more than a year in the town of 1,000 residents.

Mattingly told police that when residents paid cash, she kept some of the money. She also confessed to writing checks to herself from the town.

The thefts first were reported to the sheriff’s office on May 6, after selectmen found discrepancies during an internal audit that revealed about $18,000 missing, according to police.

Selectmen told Detective Gerry Lincoln, of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, that Mattingly was their first suspect. They told police that Mattingly had a gambling problem and they suspected she used the computer at work to gamble online. The sheriff’s office subpoenaed her rewards card from the Hollywood Casino in Bangor as part of their investigation.

Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:

kschroeder@centralmaine.com