By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau
DELHI _ A Franklin lawyer who pleaded guilty to filing a false petition to adopt a baby girl was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years' probation on Wednesday.
Sarah M. Braen-Scott, 34, of 201 Center St. in Franklin, was arrested March 3 on a misdemeanor charge of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, Delaware County Social Services Investigator Mark Hamilton said previously.
Delhi Town Justice Joseph Skovira accepted Braen-Scott's guilty plea March 3.
Skovira also fined Braen-Scott $250 and ordered her to pay $165 in court fees.
The sentencing was delayed because a pre-sentencing investigation had to be performed, but the Delaware County and Otsego County probation departments each had conflicts of interest because of previous cases Braen-Scott had argued, the court clerk said Monday.
The Schoharie County Probation Department conducted the investigation, the court clerk said. She added that she will fill out a certificate of disposition that will be forwarded to the state Judicial Review Board to determine Braen-Scott's status as an attorney.
Delaware County Judge Carl Becker appointed attorney Michael L. Breen of Middleburgh as special prosecutor.
According to previous statements by Breen:
ä Hamilton gathered sworn statements while he was conducting a routine investigation required by law when there is a private adoption.
ä Braen-Scott heard there was a pregnant woman in the Delaware County jail who wanted to put her child up for adoption.
ä Braen-Scott then made arrangements to have her secretary's brother sign papers acknowledging that he was the father of the child.
On March 13, 2007, the baby girl was born at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
Braen-Scott allegedly filed the adoption petition on or about July 12, which launched the social services investigation, Breen said.
Lawyer James Hartmann was appointed legal guardian for the child, based on the paternity question, which also included a declaration of paternity by the real father, a teenager who had come forward, Breen said.
Breen said the tests indicated a greater than 99 percent chance that the teenage boy was the father.
The child was removed from Braen-Scott's home about a week before Christmas, Breen said.
Braen-Scott said previously that the events that led up to her arrest began innocently and were never intended to cause anyone harm.
She and her husband had already registered with an adoption agency when she became aware that Jessie B. Tompkins, 23, was seeking a home for her expected child.
Braen-Scott said she met with Tompkins in December 2006 but did not specifically ask why she was in jail.
Tompkins was in jail on charges that she had repeatedly raped a 13-year-old boy. She pleaded guilty on Feb. 13, 2007, to second-degree rape and criminal contempt, and was sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years' probation.