A former Bucks County Courthouse employee pleaded guilty Friday to using official letterhead to “send a message” to a woman squabbling with the county employee’s boyfriend over a contractor bill.
Lynn Owens, 64, was sentenced to six months of probation for official oppression, forgery, and criminal attempt to extort, according to court records.
Her attorney, Michael Applebaum, did not return a request for comment Monday.
Owens, of Quakertown, told detectives in August that she had conspired with her boyfriend, Steven Wolfe, to draft the letter, which bore the names of senior judges and court administration staff in Bucks County, investigators said.
The two sent the letter to a woman in Mertztown, Berks County, who had hired Wolfe to perform work on her home, according to the affidavit of probable cause for their arrests. The woman had refused to pay Wolfe $157 for the power-washing work he completed, saying she wasn’t satisfied with its quality.
The correspondence, which Owens created on her work computer in the county’s Office of Jury Selection Commission, said the woman needed to pay Wolfe what she owed or she would face “legal remediation,” according to the affidavit. None of the people whose names were on the stationery, including Bucks County President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr., approved Owens’ use of the letterhead, investigators said.
Confused about the letter’s meaning, the woman took it to the Clerk of Courts office in Doylestown, whose staff notified prosecutors when they realized it was fraudulent.