BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Two months after a prominent Bristol fundraiser went to jail for stealing money from a Tri-Cities public library, she’s been transferred to a state prison facility.
Anita Foster-Machado pleaded guilty to embezzlement August 25th. She was indicted for stealing money from the Bristol Public Library Foundation where she was the executive director. Police said she took money to support a lavish lifestyle. A grand jury indicted her for using the Bristol Public Library Foundation’s credit card to make more than $21,000 in personal purchases like clothing, makeup, and Botox injections.
That same day last August, she reported to the Bristol Virginia jail to begin serving a 2 year sentence. She remained in the facility until Tuesday, November 10th.
For a few days last week, Foster-Machado got a taste of freedom.
Last Friday, News Channel 11 started asking questions after hearing Foster-Machado was spotted outside the jail.
An administrator said she was granted work release while waiting for transfer to a state prison facility. She was allowed to walk out of the jail to report for work in a full time job. A jail administrator said she had a full-time job in the production department of a local food manufacturer after becoming eligible for work release while awaiting transfer to a state facility.
For at least two days last week, Foster-Machado left the jail and drove her own vehicle on an approved route to her workplace, said Lt. Doug Broom with the Bristol, Virginia Sheriff’s Office.
“We don’t let violent criminals out to go to work,” Lt. Broom said. “She was evaluated and met the criteria.”
Broom said work release inmates give their paycheck to jail staff who deposit it in the inmate’s account.
“It allows people in today’s economy to keep their jobs as well as pay fees and fines,” Broom said. “And their victims get restitution.”
Foster-Machado apologized to the community for the crime and paid $20,000 in court-ordered restitution to the Bristol Library Foundation.
As of last Friday, Foster-Machado was the only inmate out of the 137 incarcerated in the Bristol, Virginia jail to be allowed out of the jail on work release. A second inmate was set to join the program within a few days, Lt. Broom said.
“She’s belongs to the Dept. of Corrections, but they have not called for her to be called into the system,” he said Friday afternoon.
Wednesday night, the Bristol Virginia Jail said Foster-Machado had been transferred to a state prison facility. An employee at the jail said she left the facility Tuesday to serve the remainder of her sentence in a state prison facility.
According to a state website, Foster-Machado is now an inmate at the Brunswick Work Center, a facility in Lawrenceville, Va. The state says “its role is to intake offenders from the local jails and process them into the Department. It houses inmates classified to multiple levels of security.”
Foster-Machado’s conviction wasn’t her first run-in with the law. A News Channel 11 investigation revealed she had an extensive criminal record dating back into the 1980’s, a fact unknown to Bristol’s elite with whom she worked and socialized before her arrest.
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