A Montgomery County District Court clerk has been arrested after allegedly taking traffic court records to her home and burning them to keep colleagues from learning that she had fallen behind in her work, according to county officials and court documents.
After being arrested Tuesday, Lisa Lynne Wolfe, of the 18900 block of Smoothstone Way in Gaithersburg, was charged with theft, destroying a public document, second-degree malicious burning and malicious destruction of property, authorities said.
All are misdemeanors. Wolfe appeared before a court commissioner this week and pleaded not guilty, according to Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler.
She was released on her own recognizance.
Wolfe could not be immediately reached last night.
According to a sworn statement filed in court by a detective, an ex-boyfriend of Wolfe's told Wolfe's supervisor that she had been removing documents from the court and bringing them home.
According to the sworn statement the detective was told that "when she brought the documents home she would burn them."
The detective said in the statement that Wolfe told the friend that "she could not keep up with her workload at work and that she was getting rid of the work so no one would find out how far she was behind."
The number and type of documents involved was unknown last night, officials said. They said some documents may have had bond checks attached to them.
Gansler said the loss of so many court records would have minimal effects on the judicial system, as most of the records are also maintained elsewhere.
But he said the matter of the straightening out the question of the checks was "bureaucratic nightmare."
Officials said Wolfe, 34, had been employed in the 6th District Court of Maryland's criminal-traffic division since at least 1995. According to the sworn statement, Wolfe was assigned to enter data into a computer from documents that were sent from the circuit court to the district court.
According to the application for a statement of charges against Wolfe, a county detective said her friend grew concerned about what she was allegedly doing, and so contacted her supervisor.
According to the statement, Wolfe and the friend had severed their relationship.
The friend could not be reached for comment last night.
The county police department began investigating and after obtaining a warrant, arrested Wolfe Tuesday, police said.