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Drug treatment works for Town of Niagara woman in stolen property case

LOCKPORT – A happy Elizabeth G. Vanness faced an equally happy Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Friday to mark completion of a two-year drug treatment program that earned her a conditional discharge in a stolen property case.

Vanness, 34, of the Town of Niagara, succeeded in the judicial diversion program after pleading guilty in April 2014 to selling stolen property. Friday, that felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

“Ms. Vanness is the reason this program exists,” Sheldon said.

Vanness, a former daily cocaine user who paid restitution of more than $700, said the diversion program transformed her. “I’m capable of being responsible, not because I have to but because I want to,” she said. “I’ve learned integrity.”

She said she now has a house, a car and a job.