Balsamo pleads guilty, sentenced to jail
SALISBURY, Md. – “Aaron Balsamo betrayed the trust of everyone,” Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said after Balsamo, the former director of the Wicomico County Humane Society, pleaded guilty to theft scheme on Wednesday.
“As far as I’m concerned, the ten years he got in prison were much deserved,” Lewis said.
Balsamo won’t spend 10 years behind bars, he’ll only do 90 days, but that doesn’t mean his guilty plea wasn’t welcomed by the community he once served.
“It’s just a big relief,” the new director of the Humane Society, Kim Nock, said.
“He is going to jail today which is exactly where he belongs,” Lewis said.
Officials say it’s what Balsamo deserves after he broke their trust, stole around $58,000, and turned his back on those he was supposed to protect.
“Most importantly, the animals that had been victimized in the multiple cases we had in Wicomico County, are the true victims here because he was their voice,” Lewis said.
It was betrayal at a time when he was meant to be leading and helping.
“I needed that man in a very difficult time in this county when he had the most horrendous animal neglect case we had ever seen,” Lewis said.
Now, with his plea and his case in the rearview mirror, it’s on other county leaders to move forward and to pick up the pieces that Balsamo left behind.
“We are just relieved that it is over, the right verdict was made, he [pleaded] guilty, he’s going to pay restitution, and things are looking up for our shelter,” Nock said.
“We just have to navigate our way through this process and move forward, we still have justice that has to be served,” Lewis said.
Balsamo was also ordered to pay $562 every month for 60 months to pay back the money he stole from the shelter.