The former head of Monroe County's Technical Services Department would be open to a plea deal if she is indicted by a grand jury, her attorney said Friday.
On Friday, prosecutors finished providing evidence and calling witnesses before a grand jury reviewing allegations that former Technical Services Director Lisa Druckemiller stole county-owned iPads and iPhones and sold them.
Druckemiller voluntarily testified before the grand jury on Wednesday, she told The Citizen on Friday. She would not say exactly what she told the jurors.
Druckemiller has not been offered a plea deal from the State Attorney's Office, but she was "100 percent forthcoming about what her role was," her attorney, Robert Cintron, said Friday.
"She answered every question that was put to her and she did not protect anyone," Cintron said. "She could have asserted her Fifth Amendment right (against self-incrimination), but she did not. ... I anticipate that if the grand jury chooses to indict her, we would enter into negotiations with the State Attorney's Office to come up with a solution that is reasonable to us, the State Attorney's Office and the judge."
Druckemiller is accused of stealing the county-owned devices and selling them to individuals, including County Administrator Roman Gastesi and County Commissioner Heather Carruthers. Druckemiller abruptly retired from the county in March as the investigation got under way.
Gastesi, who also testified before the grand jury, purchased an iPad for his girlfriend and four iPhones for himself and members of his family.
Carruthers, who also testified, wanted to upgrade her iPhone in the spring of 2011 and planned to purchase the upgrade though the county. Druckemiller brought her a phone and told her she was purchasing it through her, not the county, because she received a special deal on the phones. Carruthers said Druckemiller wanted cash, but Carruthers paid with a check because she wanted a record of the transaction.
The county is considering phasing out its policy of providing county-owned smartphones and cellphones in lieu of giving a stipend to county employees who need such communication devices for work. However, the County Commission is awaiting recommendations from the grand jury that deal with inventory control.
The grand jury investigation is expected to go beyond criminal prosecution and look at county auditing and inventory policies for cellphones and computer equipment. County Mayor David Rice said he has been in contact with State Attorney Dennis Ward on the issue.
Rice has proposed having either the Florida Commission on Ethics or an outside independent reviewer determine whether any county employees or officials violated county policies. However, he says that would not be done until the grand jury has finished its work.