---- — BENTON — A former administrative assistant at the Mt. Vernon Airport has been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Benton.
Mary Barnett-Johnson, 51, of Mt. Vernon, was sentenced Friday to five years of probation for her admitted theft of more than $85,000 in Social Security benefits, according to an Associated Press report. Barnett-Johnson pleaded guilty to the theft of government funds in February. Barnett-Johnson reportedly received $85,353 in Social Security benefits from August 2003 through September 2011 from her deceased mother. Her mother died in 2003. According to the report, Barnett-Johnson must reimburse the Social Security Administration for the amount reportedly taken by fraudulent means.
Barnett-Johnson served as the administrative assistant of the Airport just shy of six years, according to Manager Chris Collins. Collins said the Airport Authority has not found any missing funds from the airport while Barnett-Johnson was employed. She had made a request in April for vacation time accrued, but the Authority tabled the request pending the outcome of the federal indictment.