A former state Republican Party committeewoman and state parks official is now serving a three-month jail sentence after she pleaded guilty to charges of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from an elderly legal client.
Christine Cedrone, a Quincy lawyer who was indicted in 2018 while working for the Baker administration’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, will have to pay back $144,000 in restitution, according to court documents.
She pleaded guilty last month to charges of embezzlement by a fiduciary and larceny over $250 from a disabled or elderly person. Cedrone, 49, had admitted to taking $164,000 from a woman who had hired Cedrone to create a family trust, and misusing “the funds for her own purposes,” according to documents filed by counsel for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, which disbarred Cedrone last year.
Cedrone did so despite allegedly telling the woman over three years that she had deposited the money in the family trust. The woman has since died. Cedrone initially paid back $20,000, and she later signed an agreement in a civil suit to pay back the rest, plus interest, according to the board petition and court documents.
Judge Thomas Connors sentenced Cedrone to 2 1/2 years in jail, with orders to serve 90 days and the balance suspended for three years, according to the Norfolk County district attorney’s office, which prosecuted the case. Cedrone is slated to return to court in mid-April for a hearing on her ability to pay back the $144,000.
Cedrone, a former Republican State Committee member, had been placed on unpaid leave from her $70,700-a-year job as assistant director of contracts for DCR in 2018. She was responsible for reviewing award notices and requests for proposals but did not directly handle any money, officials said at the time.
Payroll records show she ultimately left DCR later that year. A DCR spokesman confirmed Cedrone was “no longer employed” by the department, as of August 2018, but he did not say whether she was fired or had resigned.
Cedrone was among several with ties to the state Republican Party who were hired at the department after Baker took office in 2015, and she appeared close to the party’s one-time leadership. It was Cedrone who introduced Kirsten Hughes at a state party meeting in 2013 before Hughes was voted in as party chair, a post she held for the next six years.