Inman thief gets probation

Inman, Kansas (via

Since I ran The Ledger, which is the weekly newspaper serving Inman and Moundridge, Kan., I still pay attention to happenings around those parts.

Once interesting bit of news taking place a while back was that Paula Ely, 48, was accused of stealing large quantities of money from Louie and Marliece Bate, owners of Louie’s Service Center in Inman, between January 2005 and August 2009 while working as a bookkeeper for the couple.

Ely pleaded guilty in May to a single count of felony theft.

Tuesday she was convicted of stealing $300,000. The McPherson County District Court sentences her to three years of probation, according to an article on

“As part of a plea agreement, Ely agreed to pay $314,779 in restitution to the Bates. Stan Juhnke, the Hutchinson attorney representing Ely, said Ely has already paid $300,000 back to the Bates and will pay the remaining amount while she is on probation,” The Hutchinson News reported.

If she doesn’t finish paying the money, she could still face prison time.

In the article Marliece “Bate said she would have liked to see some jail time as part of Ely’s sentence.”

Man, I would have loved to still have been working there to cover this story. It would have been fun, especially some degree of justice was served.

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at

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