Woodle Pleads Guilty

Diana Woodle

The former manager of the Southeast White County Water Association pleads guilty to felony theft.

Instead of risking a trial and a 20-year sentence, 52-year old Diana Woodle, of Searcy, on Wednesday was sentenced to seven years in prison by White County Circuit Judge Robert Edwards after pleading guilty to stealing more than $360,000 from the public utility.

With time off for good behavior Woodle could be out in as few as fourteen months. Woodle was also given two years of probation and ordered to pay $26,880 in restitution to Arkansas Legislative Audit.

Woodle pled guilty to class B felony theft of property for taking what a joint investigation by Arkansas Legislative Audit and the Arkansas State Police found to be $361,180 between Jan. 1, 2011, and April 7, 2016 in the form of salary over-payments, medical reimbursements and personal credit card charges.

KATV reports Woodle’s co-defendant, SEWCO field service technician 37-year old Brandon L. Johnson, fired his attorney’s on Wednesday. Johnson told the television station he was told he wouldn’t get a fair trial and he should have taken a plea bargain.

Johnson has until February 7th to find a new attorney and hopes that new attorney will request a change of venue. He believes Diana Woodle’s husbands status as a White county deputy hurts his chances at a fair trial.

Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson

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