Former Oxford Tax Collector entered a not guilty plea to felony charges of larceny and forgery at Milford Superior Court on Monday.
Her attorney, Dominick Thomas, entered a pro forma not guilty plea on behalf of Guillet, 61, who stood by her attorney with her husband, Nil (pronounced Neal), sitting behind her. Karen Guillet, who wore a dark blue or black suit with a blue silk scarf and open toed high heels into court, quickly left the courtroom without saying anything. Her case was continued to Jan. 24, one month after her 62nd birthday, which is on Christmas Eve.
"Pro forma" is a Latin term for "as a matter of form." In court, it is a ruling made as a formality in order to move matters along, according to Nolo's plain-English law dictionary.
Guillet, of 2 Douglas Lane, has charges stemming from a multi-year embezzling scheme that she is accused of orchestrating in the office she held for 24 years. that Guillet used the money on luxury items such as two dog walkers whom she paid $100 a day, trips to casinos, hotels and spas, and high-end clothes, among other amenities.
She has been charged with seven felonies, including six counts of first-degree forgery and one count of first-degree larceny following a two-year ; she has been accused of stealing more than although the criminal charges against her accuse her of stealing $243,902. The most serious charge, first-degree larceny, is a Class B felony punishable by between 1 and 20 years in prison or up to a $15,000 fine. First-degree forgery is a Class C felony punishable by between 1 and 10 years in prison or up to a $10,000 fine. Guillet is currently free after posting 10 percent of a $100,000 bond.
The town has also filed a in which Oxford looks to recoup the money that is alleged to be stolen. That suit is pending.
Monday marked Guillet's second court appearance. She appeared briefly in Derby Superior Court last week; it was the first time she had faced a judge. The case was moved to Part A, where the most serious cases are heard in superior court. All Part A cases out of the Derby judicial district are heard in Milford.
A couple of Oxford residents have showed up in court to follow the case.
Last week, one woman who said she was a title searcher and knew Guillet from Town Hall didn't want to be identified in the press but joked that she just wanted to see what Guillet was wearing.
On Monday, Oxford resident Roger O'Toole attended the pre-trial conference in Milford. A 61-year-old retired teacher and a selectman from 1993-95, O'Toole said he plans to follow the case because the allegations anger him and his neighbors.
"People talk about how she used to walk to work when she was first in office and then all of a sudden she's driving a brand new car," he said. "She gave me the same line that she had given others: that she had a rich relative or something like that. ...People talk about it a lot...And I think she stole more than they say in the papers."