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Enterprising techie rents city’s phones to family, friends

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Mona Lamberson may not be the kind of employee most employers are looking for, but you can’t say she lacks initiative.

Lamberson, an IT technician for the city of Philadelphia, spotted an opportunity when she discovered 28 city cell phones that were going unused. She rented them out to friends, family members and eight city employees. The beneficiaries of her entrepreneurship then racked up more than $30,000 worth of phone calls and texts.

The spike in the city’s phone bill caught the eye of Philadelphia Inspector General Amy L. Kurland, who brought in the District Attorney’s office and city police to investigate. Someone dropped a dime on Lamberson, and she was soon in custody.

She agreed to plead guilty to third-degree felony theft, obstruction and misuse of public property. She was sentenced to five years probation and must make restitution of $30,400. Her attorney will seek a reduction to three years of probation if Lamberson could make restitution in that time.

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