RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — He kept the change.
The former public works inspector for a northern New Jersey town has admitted stealing $460,000 in quarters.
Thomas Rica, 43, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of theft. He accepted a plea deal of five years probation and agreed to pay all the money back to Ridgewood, The Record reported.
Rica will not face jail time.
The Hawthorne resident lost his job with Ridgewood in January 2013, following his arrest for taking $500 in coins from Ridgewood’s parking meter collection room. But investigators later determined that he stole $460,000 overall.
Authorities said the thefts occurred over the course of 25 months. They said Rica, who was not authorized to be in the room, would enter a room where the collected parking meter quarters are stored and fill his pockets with money before leaving.
Rica appeared in Superior Court Thursday to accept a plea deal that will see him pay part of the money back to the village, The Record reported.
Rica will return the entire amount over the course of his probation, which will run five years, according to the deal, court officials said.
The terms also dictate Rica can never work for another municipality, The Record reported.
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