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Frustrations Loom as Guillet Case Continues

Former Oxford tax collector is free on bond while residents await an outcome of her case.

Former Oxford First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers sat frustrated in a near empty courtroom on the second floor at Milford Superior Court Thursday morning.

She had hoped to see some semblance of justice handed down to , a former Oxford tax collector who had betrayed Drayton-Rogers and more than 12,000 citizens who entrusted Guillet with their tax dollars for 24 years. Instead, Drayton-Rogers heard that disheartening, two-word phrase that has been uttered several times already by judges in this pre-trial phase - case continued.

“I really did feel that at this point in the case, some kind of action would be taken,” said Drayton-Rogers, who is retired from town politics and now splits her time between Oxford and Florida. “The longer this goes on, the longer the cloud remains over the town of Oxford.”

Without much explanation, the state’s attorney’s office asked Judge Richard Arnold for a brief continuance until next Thursday (June 7). Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Chuck Stango said Guillet’s defense attorney, Dominick J. Thomas, Jr., who was not in court, asked for the continuance.

Guillet, a 62-year-old former elected official who was arrested by state police for stealing more than $240,000 from her office, also was not in court. She has declined several interview requests by local and state media since she was charged with one count of first-degree larceny and six counts of first-degree forgery on Nov. 30, almost two years after town officials first suspected she was stealing. Drayton-Rogers was first selectman at the time. 

On top of the criminal case, Guillet faces a civil lawsuit filed by the town that accuses her of pocketing more than $670,000 in order to maintain a posh lifestyle that state police say included fancy cars, upscale vacations and wardrobes worth several thousands of dollars. The civil case is being held in abeyance until the criminal matter is resolved, said Oxford Town Attorney Kevin Condon.

While Guillet awaits trial, or a more likely plea bargain agreement, she is free to stay in her well-kempt home at 2 Douglas Lane in Oxford. Meanwhile, angry taxpayers - in town records because Guillet did not credit their accounts so she could hide her embezzlement scheme, according to town officials –  are forced to hope and wait for a resolution to the case.

Drayton-Rogers said now that she’s removed from town politics, she is just another one of those frustrated residents. The former first selectman, who served from 2007 to 2011, has said she believes Guillet, her former friend, stole more than $1 million from the town.

Drayton-Rogers believes the state has ample evidence to convict Guillet. She knows pre-trial conferences can be continued for several months and possibly years, but Drayton-Rogers still questions why this particular case is taking so long. 

“I am fully aware that all of the information was turned over to the state police Major Crime Squad and the State’s Attorney’s Office in a timely manner and they have had ample time to review it,” she said. “The longer this drags out, the more questions we have and the more anger residents will feel about this situation.”

Beth June 01, 2012 at 01:54 AM
IT IS "UNBELIEVABLE" THAT SHE IS STILL FREE AFTER TWO YEARS, SPENDING ALL OUR TAX MONEY (WHILE OTHERS ARE SUFFERING TO MAKE ENDS MEET) TO CONTINUE TO LIVE HER LAVISH LIFESTYLE.
citizen kane June 01, 2012 at 03:37 AM
thats terriffic you can see how remorseful she is,she doesnt even have the time to make it to court.my prediction standsm one year suspended sentence,restituiton of 290K or whatever sum the state came up with.Retire with the rest of the towns money.
MOM June 01, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Totally disgusted! The Oxford residents ought to stack the courtroom next Thursday, what time???
Paul Singley June 01, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Usually, Part A cases like this get called at 10 a.m., though this one didn't get called until 11:30. It's on the docket for 10 though, so it will be around then.
MOM June 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Thanks, Paul!
Bonnie June 01, 2012 at 06:21 PM
This is our wonderful justice system... Why put off the enevitable? She outta step up, pled GUILTY and STOP wasting the towns time and money. It's NOT free for the towns lawyers to go to court, we are STILL paying for all that she's done. The longer this goes on the less money will be left to recoup, I'm sure she's spending it like crazy! The only winners in this case are the lawyers, she's a loser and all of us residents are just getting frustrated.
Dad in Oxford June 01, 2012 at 10:59 PM
It she does not get a jail sentence, it will be as if she and the State of CT have spit in our faces again! The local administration, past and present, should be commended for bringing this forward, but if the State plea bargains instead of going to trial, every citizen in Oxford should look to oust the current State Attorney General. Actually, the citizens of Oxford should start contacting the Attorney General and demand that the state does NOT plea bargain this case. She was a PUBLIC OFFICIAL who stole taxpayers money and she deserves to not only pay the money back, but rot in jail. For those who want to contact the Attorney General's office and complain, their contact information is: (860) 808-5318 attorney.general@ct.gov
Bonnie June 02, 2012 at 12:58 AM
As a business owner, I just had to fire a manager for stealing money. She was not ringing sales, pocketing the money and this was caught right on camera. This had been going on for some time before we caught it, the sad thing is I CANNOT accuse her of STEALING, I've got to call it MISUSE OF CASH REGISTER. I know it's pennies on the dollar compared to what was taken from the town of Oxford but $100 a day is a lot to steal from what's not yours to steal. I cannot press charges because it was not $2500.00 or more on one occasion, our justice system only works for the criminals. I'm pretty sure this one that was fired will go to unemployment and deny everything, they won't look at our video at the first hearing... Why? That's my proof... She also had the nerve to walk in today for her last paycheck and act like she didn't do a thing wrong, I suppose we are the bad guys for giving her a job, made her asst mgr and pay her $10.50 an hour. I know that also doesn't sound like a lot but it is for people that didn't finish school (sometimes never reached high school), those that are given a second chance after serving time in prison and post drug addicts. I think I'm pretty fair and this is what I get for being a good employer? This just goes to show how many greedy people there are out there, take what's not yours and live off others. The only thing I can say is there's another one that no longer has a job in a bad economy.
Tina June 03, 2012 at 12:44 AM
bonnie 10.50 isnt nothing u cant even get a pack of smokes 4 10 dollars,should have payed her more your not a good employer!
John M. Joy June 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM
Then, perhaps, given the value of her skills (or lack thereof), she had best consider not smoking!
Baba Booey June 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM
First, Tina, your first mistake would be hiring someone who smokes because that shows bad decision making skills and judgement immediately. Smokers are mentally weak and cannot handle life without a drug induced escape. Second, this was about the thief, Karen, and going back to what Dad said, it seems people don't really care on this town about this issue because there would be more public outrage than anything shown yet. Where is the petition to the Attorney General, where are the letters to the editors, where is the picketing at town hall or the courthouse? I really don't think people care!
Tina June 03, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Baba Pooey, mentally weak u really need to know more about a person prior to judging them especially for something like smoking, it's not like I was talking about smoking crack!!!!!
Dave June 03, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Maybe if Rogers had not let Karen stay in the tax office for six weeks after she admitted stealing money the investigation could have been more clear. How much evidence was destroyed by Karen in that time? Evidence that could have been used against her for a speedy end to this and she could be sitting in jail instead of the comforts of her home? It seems Rogers was more concerned with the welfare of her friend than the citizens.
Dad in Oxford June 03, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Dave, enlighten us, how did you arrive at the six weeks you refer to?
Dave June 04, 2012 at 01:14 AM
It was sometime around there if you know the exact time frame why don't you tell us. Besides if she admitted to Rogers that she took money she should have been gone that day period.
Dad in Oxford June 04, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I asked how you arrived at the six week time period and you cannot even provide an explanation. I don't know the time period, but you are stating you do, so enlighten us, what was the date she admitted to stealing the money and what was the date she was was escorted out of town hall? If you cannot provide an explanation, what does that say about your information?
Tanya Carver June 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM
There's an article on the Valley Independent dated 4/1/2011 which gives some detail of the series of events that took place: http://valley.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/officials_testify_in_case_against_oxford_tax_collector/ Which States: "The investigation started in December 2009 — when a town hall employee came to Drayton-Rogers with an old check and two deposit tickets found in the tax collector’s office." ..."Drayton-Rogers met with Guillet first on Jan. 7, 2010, where she told Guillet that “fraud had been confirmed” by an auditor. They scheduled a meeting for Jan. 13 to review the auditor’s report, Drayton-Rogers said. The town’s finance director, auditor and Drayton-Rogers’ administrative assistant were also at the meeting." At this meeting Guillet admitted: "At that point, Drayton-Rogers told Guillet to hand in her keys, and had her escorted out of the building. On her way out, Drayton-Rogers testified, Guillet allegedly said “I’m glad it’s over with.” What does not make sense to me is the time difference between Karen being told on Jan 7th that fraud had been committed and the meeting of Jan 13th, giving her almost a week to destroy evidence.
Tanya Carver June 04, 2012 at 02:52 PM
A posting on the Valley "posted by: Jim Stetson on December 1, 2011 12:31pm Ever notice how Forest Construction Co. always had shiny new equipment?"
Dave June 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM
For Dad in Oxford. Six weeks is old news. The real news is How she can plead not guilty with a straight face?Why she is not locked up? and the real suspence is...Will be what sentence she will get for her crime?Hopefully restitution will be paid to the Town for what she stole. Just think how much evidence she could have destroyed before being asked to leave. I guess Rogers gave her friend a real good Xmas present in 2010.
commoner June 04, 2012 at 09:21 PM
After all these court hearings and when she is found guilty, Karen will get 5 years of probation ( no jail time because she is a female) and pay restitution of $5 per week for as long as it takes to repay Oxford. You will hear it is only because she violated the public trust that she got such a hard judgement against her. Her pension from the state program will not be taken away because only the chief prosecuter can ask for a reduction or forfit of benifits. This is only my opinion.
citizen kane June 04, 2012 at 10:49 PM
This rhetoric from Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers (MAD-R) tops all the ridiculous statements ever made by her. If Mary Ann did her job right in the first place, these court proceedings would probably go a lot faster. By not putting Karen on administrative leave the first day MAD-R found there was a problem with the tax collector, but rather letting Karen in the town hall (even on weekends) is criminal in itself! Right or wrong, guilty or not you did not cover all the bases Mary Ann. Instead you created this nightmare. What were you thinking? Now tell me MAD-R, who betrayed the citizens of Oxford? Or was this just your ignorance and bad leadership? BTW, I’m hearing you plan on running for first selectmen again, is this true?
Citizen X June 05, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Things would get very complicated & ugly if the family business were implicated. I believe the company also did work for the town. It would be very easy to make the logical argument that the company benefited from the alleged embezzlement, but making a logical argument and making a legal argument are different, & it would also depend at least in part on the motivation level of the prosecutor (I assume). I would still wait to see what happens before assuming that she will get off lightly if proven guilty or if she plea bargains. Simply being a woman won't keep her from prison (if so, why are there female prisons?).
Citizen X June 05, 2012 at 06:50 AM
Mr. Joy, for once I agree with you.
Beth June 05, 2012 at 09:33 PM
and did you see the brand new Honda pickup truck that they both drove to court with months ago...I wonder who paid for that???
Beth June 05, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Dave - the most recent news after the postponed court date at the end of May, is that Drayton-Rogers stated that Guillet stole well over one million dollars...I think that all Oxford residents should sign a petition and send it to the Attorney General to put pressure on them so she not only sees jail time, but pays back what she has stolen over the past 24 yrs...
Beth June 05, 2012 at 09:59 PM
citizen Kane, Guillet was on office for 24 yrs and no selectman including our town auditors realized what she was doing...There was never any oversight instituted by anyone, so you can't blame Mary Ann so vehemently...moreover, the prosecutors have more than enough information on her to put her in jail for along time, but for some strange reason Dom Thomas has kept her out of jail???
Beth June 05, 2012 at 10:02 PM
sounds good to me MOM
Dog Lover June 06, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I agree with Citizen Kane, It's disgusting that MAD-R let this criminal stay in our town hall for several weeks after she was caught to get rid of evidence. WTF!!! And rumour has it your running again. Your just as delusional as Guillet if you think that Oxford residents would ever vote you in again.

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