CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A former Harvard Law administrator accused of stealing from an account intended for students with disabilities showed up with a restitution check in hand at Cambridge District Court on Friday, hoping to put an embarrassing scandal behind her.
But Darris Saylors, 32, left the courthouse without the anticipated resolution.
In exchange for paying back more than $47,000 in university funds, Saylors’ attorney had argued for a “continued without a finding” disposition, which would keep her criminal record clean.
However, Judge Michelle Hogan refused to accept that outcome.
“We certainly expected to resolve it,” defense attorney Arthur Kelly told WBZ-TV, noting his client had no prior criminal record. “At this point in time, she’s deserving of being placed on probation, and paying back the money without a felony conviction on her record.”
According to court documents the I-Team exclusively reported in February, Saylors and co-defendant Meg DeMarco embezzled more than $110,000 of school funds from a disabilities account.
The two Harvard Law administrators used the money to purchase dozens of laptops, iPads and other expensive electronics.
The police investigation also found Saylors made a long list of online purchases on Amazon, even using a dean’s credit card to buy sex toys. Court documents say she then tried to hide the transactions by changing the descriptions to things like “textbooks for disabilities accommodations.”
In May, DeMarco paid $45,000 in restitution and received a “continued without a finding” ruling on the case. That means if she follows the terms of her probation, the case will disappear from her record after November 2018.
Kelly questioned why his client would receive different treatment.
“Harvard University will be consulted with regard to whether or not they want to accept the money and resolve the matter. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen,” he told WBZ.
Saylors returns to her home in Tennessee as the case takes a step closer to trial. The next court date is slated for June 13.
When the I-Team first reported the story, Saylors had moved on to a new job at UT-Chattanooga. However, she immediately resigned when the allegations became public.
Ryan Kath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.