- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2012

A former Metro supervisor was sentenced to nine months in jail for stealing more than $24,500 by falsifying three employees’ time sheets, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks announced Monday.

Alfred Atanga, 52, faced up to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of two counts of theft in March. Prosecutors said Atanga used his access to Metro’s payroll computer system to steal $24,514 from the transportation agency by falsifying hours on the time sheets of three women who worked at Metro’s Hyattsville call center with him.

Atanga, of Bowie, did not pocket the money himself. Prosecutors said he signed off on the overtime payments in order to curry favor with women he thought were attractive.

Judge Larnzell Martin sentenced Atanga to nine months in jail, five years of supervised probation and ordered him to pay approximately $9,100 in restitution to Metro.

Atanga’s attorney, John Riely, said he plans to appeal the conviction because allegations of relationships between Atanga and the women and sexual favors were admitted into the trial.

“We believe there was testimony and evidence admitted that poisoned the trial,” Mr. Riely said.

He alleged that prosecutors sought to interject sexual and romantic overtones into the trial - where there were none - in order to establish a motive in the case, since Atanga never profited from the stolen money.

“There are boring cases out there, and this should have been one of them,” Mr. Riely said.

The three employees who benefited from Atanga’s actions were fired, prosecutors said.

According to Maryland court records, Lakisha Gardin, who was convicted of one count of theft, received two years probation. Empriss Jacobs, who was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit theft, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay approximately $16,000 in restitution. Charges against Keesha Richardson were dropped.

The theft occurred over a 10-month period beginning in October 2010 and lasted until Metro Transit Police arrested the employees in August.