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Charge reduced, soon to be former Southern board member pleads

Morning Journal/ Stephanie Ujhelyi Chris Weeda (left), assistant county prosecutor, and Chris Amato, defense attorney for Patricia Exline (back), sit in the courtroom of East Liverpool Municipal Court Tuesday before Exline’s plea hearing.

EAST LIVERPOOL — A Southern Local school board member took a plea deal Tuesday afternoon in East Liverpool Municipal Court.

Judge Dominic Frank fined Patricia Exline, of 10th Street Extension, Wellsville, $150 on a charge of disorderly conduct, reduced from first-degree misdemeanor theft. She also was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence. Frank gave her option of paying an additional $200 in lieu of completing her mandated 20-hour community service hours ($10 per hour).

Exline, who pleaded no contest, also is prohibited from having contact with any other Walmart in Columbiana County under the threat of further additional criminal charges.

If she wouldn’t have accepted the fourth-degree misdemeanor, Exline could have been fined $1,000 and spent up to six months in jail. The maximum penalty for disorderly conduct is $250 and 30 days in jail.

According to St. Clair Township police, Exline was arrested on Dec. 6 in the Calcutta Walmart, after failing to scan 18 items totaling $206.43 when checking out.

Exline was elected as a Southern Local school board member in November 2019.

According to board president Kip Dowling, Exline has submitted her resignation. The school board, which has not yet met this month, is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Friday in the high school cafeteria.

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