A former fiscal analyst for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has admitted stealing more than $18,000 in public money by issuing unauthorized government checks.

State prosecutors say 58-year-old Sharon Caldwell of Trenton pleaded guilty this week to theft by deception.

In return, prosecutors will recommend that she get a year in jail and five years probation when she's sentenced. Caldwell also will have to pay restitution and will be barred from holding public employment.

Caldwell was responsible for disbursing checks from an account maintained by the state's disability insurance program. She admitted to issuing three checks -- totaling about $18,525 -- and cashing them. She then used the money to pay her rent.

The unauthorized checks were discovered by an internal audit.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)