A former Howard County Public School System employee who stole computer equipment using an eBay account under her daughter’s name will spend two years in prison and must pay the school system more than $200,000, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Tina Marie Eiser, 50, of Glen Burnie, pleaded guilty in March to theft after prosecutors said she stole more than $200,000 worth of computer parts between 2005 and 2009 when she worked as an information technology technician for the school system.
During the March plea hearing, school officials testified that Eiser ordered “at least double” the amount of computer parts that other technicians did. One of her coworkers testified that parts similar to those that Eiser had ordered were for sale on eBay, the online auction website.
Once police were notified, Eiser said the eBay account was registered to her daughter, according to police testimony. Eiser's daughter told detectives that she had opened the account and a corresponding PayPal account, but that her mother, Eiser, used them to sell things.
According to prosecutors, Eiser tried to mislead detectives, but eventually said that she had used her daughter’s accounts to sell items that the school system was going to throw away.
School officials told State’s Attorney Colleen McGuinn that Eiser “did not have permission to sell new, old, used or disposed of computers or parts.”
Police found about $14,000 worth of computers and computer parts at Eiser’s house. She was fired in Oct. 2010.
At Friday's sentencing hearing, Eiser’s attorney and psychiatrist said Eiser was in a tenuous, fragile state, according to T. Wayne Kirwan, director of Community Justice & Public Information at the Howard County State's Attorney's Office. They asked the judge to sentence her to home detention or jail time rather than prison time.
The state asked for a six-year sentence, contending that Eisner spent four years committing 4,000 individual thefts worth more than $210,000, Kirwan said.
At the Friday sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Louis A. Becker noted Eiser's medical status, according to Kirwan, and sentenced her to a 15-year prison sentence, suspending all but two years.
He also ordered her to serve five years of probation after the prison sentence. Becker said he might reconsider Eiser’s sentence at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 7.
In court, Eiser apologized, Kirwan said, telling Becker, “'I’m sorry for everything I’ve done.'”
This article has been edited to reflect that the state said Eiser committed more than 4,000 individual acts of theft, not 400.