BELFAST — A former Troy clerk pleaded guilty Tuesday in Waldo County Superior Court to embezzling nearly $20,000 in town funds.

Kathy Mattingly, 56, was arrested in June after she confessed to the embezzlement during an interview with a Waldo County Sheriff’s Office detective.

Mattingly’s attorney Nathan Bell said he and the state still are negotiating sentencing arrangements for the class C felony conviction of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. A class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

He said Mattingly has serious medical problems and requires constant portable oxygen. Because of this, he said, it would be most appropriate for her to be placed under house arrest.

“This is a very sick lady,” he said.

The chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Brian Piper, did not immediately return a request for comment. Town Clerk Aimee Nelson said the town may have a comment at a later date.

Mattingly was clerk for more than a year in the town of 1,000 residents, which has a $526,000 budget this year.

Mattingly told police that when residents paid cash, she kept some of the money. She also confessed to writing checks to herself from the town.

The thefts first were reported to the sheriff’s office May 6, after selectmen found discrepancies in the records during an internal audit and about $18,000 missing, according to police.

The town also ordered an audit of its files, which discovered $19,813 was missing from town accounts.

Selectmen told Detective Gerry Lincoln, of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, that Mattingly was their first suspect. They told police that Mattingly had a gambling problem and they suspected she used the computer at work to gamble online. The sheriff’s office supoenaed her rewards card from the Hollywood Casino in Bangor as part of their investigation.

When Mattingly was arrested in June, she confessed to police that she had stolen the funds.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252kschroeder@centralmaine.com