Former Kern law librarian pleads no contest to embezzlement charges

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who worked at the Kern County Law Library for 25 years, eventually rising to its top position, pleaded no contest Thursday to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the library.

Annette Heath pleaded no contest to two counts of embezzlement by a public officer and a charge of grand theft:embezzlement, according to court records. Five other counts of embezzlement by a public officer were dismissed.

Prosecutors said Heath faces a maximum of one year in jail and three years of felony probation at her July 30 sentencing. She also must pay restitution of $64,660.

When contacted by investigators last year, Heath admitted to taking library funds for personal use and depositing some of the money in her husband’s bank account, according to court filings. The thefts occurred between Jan. 1, 2014, and Feb. 28, 2020, during which time she was law librarian.

She overpaid herself $42,857 in wages, spent $13,935 on personal purchases and
paid $7,867 for rental vehicles for family members, prosecutors said.

After retiring as Kern’s law librarian last year, Heath got a job as interim library director at Yolo County Law Library. Another person is now listed as library director on the Yolo County Law Library website.

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