Daly City political consultant Margaret "Peg" Collier was sentenced to one year of misdemeanor court probation and 120 hours of community service in San Mateo County Superior Court Thursday after admitting she submitted false invoices to the South County Fire Protection Authority.
Collier, 68, could have received up to 30 days in jail and two years probation, but Judge John Runde said he was inclined to give her a lighter sentence because of her "long record of positive community service."
A trio of Collier’s supporters asked for a lighter sentence on her behalf, saying she is a woman of integrity who is devoted to community service.
"She has helped out a lot of people in her life, and she has suffered enough as a result of this conviction," said Daly City Mayor Michael P. Guingona.
Collier, who showed little emotion during the sentencing, was advised by former San Carlos Mayor Mike King to submit false invoices in order to be reimbursed for work she performed on a ballot measure campaign. After being charged with one felony count, she pleaded no contest to misdemeanor fraud charges and agreed to testify truthfully against King, whose trial led to his conviction on two felony counts.
"She has lived up to the terms of her plea agreement," said Deputy District Attorney Sean Gallagher.
In early 2004, King told Collier to submit invoices totaling $13,320, claiming she helped seven South County firefighters find new jobs in the fall of 2003, work she has since admitted she never did.
Those invoices wound up in the hands of Belmont City Council members, who turned them over to the District Attorney.
"Despite dirty political games, she has been the only honest player," said Collier’s attorney, Michael Hroziencik.
King’s trial ended April 18. His sentencing is scheduled for June 9 at 9:30 a.m. He faces up to three years in prison.