It’s a small world after all – at least for prisoner 56443-019. Former State School Superintendent Linda C. Schrenko has spent the last few years less than an hour from Disney World, at a federal pokey in central Florida.
Georgia’s first woman elected to statewide office, once a darling of the GOP and a hopeful for governor, spends her days in college dorm-style cells at the minimum-security Coleman Federal Correctional Complex.
She fell from grace after a scheme concocted with deputy school superintendent Merle Temple, who was also her lover. Both were married to others at the time. They handed out more than $600,000 in bogus Georgia Department of Education contracts to a computer consultant; much of the money was diverted back to Schrenko’s gubernatorial campaign. Dozens of checks from straw donors, many of them family and friends, ended up in her election account. She used about $9,300 of it for a facelift.
Less than a few weeks into her 2006 trial, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A few months later, she was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. The 59-year-old’s release is set for August 2013.