- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A former public works inspector in New Jersey pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing $460,000 in quarters from the city.

Thomas Rica, 43, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft after stealing 1.8 million quarters from Ridgewood’s meter collection room over a two-year period, The Record reported.

He was reportedly not permitted in the collection room, but would enter it and load up his pockets with coins.

Prosecutors are recommending he receive five years’ probation and pay about $200,000 in restitution to Ridgewood.

Rica lost his job with Ridgewood in January 2013 after he was arrested for taking $500 in coins. Investigators later determined that he stole $460,000 overall, the newspaper reported.

Rica’s lawyer, Robert Galantucci, said after the hearing that his client regrets taking the money, and is focused on “putting his life back together,” he told The Record.

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