HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) -- The former public works inspector for a northern New Jersey town who admitted stealing $460,000 in quarters over two years has been spared a prison term.

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A judge instead sentenced Thomas Rica to five years of probation.

Rica had worked in Ridgewood for 10 years before his arrest in January 2013. He had pleaded guilty in March to four counts of theft as part of a plea deal that called for probation and restitution.

Rica lost his job after his arrest for taking $500 in coins from the town's parking meter collection room. Investigators later determined that he stole $460,000 overall.

The Record reports that Rica repeatedly apologized for his actions during the sentencing hearing held Wednesday.


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