By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Keyser City Council member William M. Zacot has been sentenced to seven years probation after pleading no contest in January to one felony count of embezzlement from the Keyser Youth Baseball League.
Zacot was originally indicted in May 2019 on one felony count of embezzlement and eight felony counts of obtaining credit or making purchases with a credit card, but entered into a plea agreement on Jan. 27 and all but the one embezzlement charge were dropped.
Judge Lynn Nelson ordered a pre-sentence report at that time, and on July 20, prosecuting attorney Cody Pancake said he had no objection to the results of the report.
However, attorney Nick James, representing Zacot, did object to the portion of the report where probation officer Seth Haines said he felt Zacot "has not truly accepted responsibility for the crime."
James then made a motion to defer the sentencing, which Judge Nelson denied.
Zacot was then given the opportunity to have anyone speak on his behalf, and T.J. Coleman, Lynn Robinson and Jessica Heare all gave testimony.
Once their testimony concluded, Judge Nelson sentenced Zacot to "an indeterminate term of not less than one nor more than ten years in prison," which he suspended for seven years probation with the possibility of being released after two years of good behavior.
No agreement or judgement has yet been made on restitution.
James has previously told the judge that Zacot disputes the $14,174.50 which West Virginia State Police stated as a result of their investigation.
According to court documents, if both parties "do not reach an agreement, the state shall notify the court and notice the matter for an evidentiary hearing."
The embezzlement occurred between February 2017 and July 2018, when Zacot was serving as treasurer for the Keyser Youth Baseball League.
He has served on the Keyser City Council and as the city’s parks and recreation commissioner since June 2018.