Ex-Head of Meals Program Sentenced

The former director of the La Mesa Nutrition Center was sentenced Monday to 13 months in federal prison for defrauding the center out of more than $40,000.

One of the sons of Jerrilyn Poitra, 46, of Chula Vista, ran from the courtroom in tears after hearing U. S. District Court Judge Leland Nielsen impose the sentence on his mother.

Nielsen ordered her to repay the center, which runs a federally funded meals program for senior citizens, the total alleged loss: $42,193.12.


Nielsen set payments at $200 a month, to begin after Poitra finishes her sentence.

Poitra was director of the center for at least three years. In the 89-count indictment handed down Nov. 29, she was charged with making 87 Nutrition Center checks payable to herself.

She pleaded guilty Jan. 10 to theft of public funds and to tax evasion on her 1987 return, in which she failed to report the extra money as income. The other charges were then dismissed.