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GOP First Selectman Candidate Takes Issue With Tax Collector Update

George Temple responds to a press release held by First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers.

Republican First Selectman candidate George Temple issued a news release response to First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers' press conference regarding payment of bond money in the amount of $100,000 to the town for insurance that it took out for the job performance of former , who is accused of stealing more than $670,000.

"In my opinion, in no way does receiving $100,000 in insurance money represent closure in this matter," Temple said. "It is ironic that Bernie Madoff perpetrated the largest Ponzi scheme in history and is now in a jail cell and has been for quite some time. He was arrested in the beginning of 2009. To date, it has not even been ascertained how much money was taken from the Town of Oxford by our former tax collector. Although, her share of her home has been attached (to a town civil suit), we have no idea how much money that represents. She was allowed to keep her Town pension to pay her attorney. 

"It appears we are no closer to justice in this matter than we were a year and a half ago, despite having appointed committees and other actions by the current administration," Temple said. "We need decisive moral leadership to express our outrage at the delay of this matter. Justice delayed is justice denied."

Temple said he questions the timing of the payment from the insurance company and the timing of the announcement because it is so close to the election. Although Drayton-Rogers is not seeking re-election, her administrative aide, Joe Calabrese, is running as a Democrat against Temple. Drayton-Rogers acknowleged Calabrese at the press concerence on Thursday because Calabrese was on a three-member committee that investigated the missing money in the tax collector's office.  

"This is not a political matter, it is a matter that deeply concerns the citizens of this fine community," Temple said.

Temple said he proposed creating a police commission to handle complaints or suggestions regarding the policing of the town.

"If such a commission were in existence today, it would be able to bring to bear the full moral outrage of the Town of Oxford at this crime and encourage the prompt disposition of this matter," he said. "The police commission, of course, would be responsible to aid the State Police and Oxford Police in the smooth administration of justice."

Temple, an attorney who once served as Oxford's town attorney, said he believes auditors "bear some responsibility for this matter not being detected over the years during which the money was taken."

"Instead, the town still employs the and accepts the same auditing standards," he said. "This is a curiosity that has yet to be explained."

Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM
John: What people want is to know why she was allowed to stay in her position and be able to obscure evidence for a month. That was MADR's call. This crime was not dealt with in correctly...why? What possible reason would a First Selectman have to allow this to go on once apprised of the matter? How would the citizens best interest be served by allowing the former Tax Collector to stay in that position, and get rid of evidence that could be used to indict her? Is MADR saying Town Counsel advised her to do that? This situation was further complicated, and the investigation that ensued bogged down by the way the First Selectman handled the situation and the people of Oxford deserve to know why.
Pinch Hitter October 23, 2011 at 01:06 PM
Someone accusing a public official of stealing public funds is a very serious issue and it should never be taken lightly and I do not believe the First Selectman or Town Attorney would ever take anything like this lightly, even Mr. Palmer wouldn't have, so don't turn this into something it is not. Someone made an ACCUSATION, that is what happened. There was no proof at that time and before anyone could yell fire, the situation had to be looked into, without Karen or anyone else knowing what was happening. Once there was some proof, the Tax Collector was confronted at which time she admitted her guilt and was immediately escorted out of the building, so this TIME TO DESTROY EVIDENCE is fictional because she had no idea she was being looked into until she was confronted. You cannot just jump to immediate action or conclusions based on an ACCUSATION because if that accusation turns out to be FALSE, the person accused could turn around and sue you for defamation of character. You have to have FACTS before you can do anything and that is what happened before she was confronted and what is happening now while we are all waiting for her to be officially charged. Please use your common sense here and know that something like this has to be handled in a particular way to protect the town and the person, just in case the accusations were false.
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Pinch: I will say that you at least made the effort to provide some explanation that I think people had a right to know.
citizen kane October 23, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Where’s the money? Take short visit to the Connecticut SEEC web site http://www.ct.gov/seec . This is where filings for political parties may be found. Searching the web site will turn up some interesting results on contributions made to the Oxford Democratic Town Committee by the Gullet’s’. • 05/14/09 $ 25 contributed by Nil • 08/21/09 $500 contributed by Karen • 03/12/08 $ 35 contributed by Nil • 04/03/08 $125 contributed by Karen • 09/19/08 $265 contributed by Karen • 10/26/07 $250 contributed by Nil It's not much compared to the amount stolen, however, in principal do you think the ODTC should return this stolen money back to the Guillet’s?
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Citizen Kane: You make a good point.If for no other reason than to show good will it should be returned. People are going to have to think critically about what they believe happened during the time lapse, and I am hopeful that people showing an interest will guarantee that the events that happened in Town Hall will come under scrutiny.
Kenn Maher October 23, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Hey citizen kane, how's that Oxford together working out for Temple. I would like to know if Mr. temple is going to address his ETHICS VIOLATION! And just to let you folks know that reporter spennelli is still in palmers pocket.
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Citizen Kane: Is it possible to return that money to the taxpayers to make an attempt to show they want no part of ill-gotton gains? That's what I thought you meant...returning it to Guillet, under the circumstances, seems wrong, but keeping it shows acceptance on a level that no one should be comfortable with.
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Kenn Maher: Attacking Mr Temple and a reporter does nothing to make this situation go away, and smacks of fear and recrimination. We should all want to see justice being done, no matter who garners your support.
citizen kane October 23, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Thanks Rachael, apparently you understand what I'm saying (unlike others). I don't blame the ODTC for taking the money, after all it was a contribution. But, to keep it after knowing where it came from is not a very good signal the Oxford Democratic Town Committee is sending. Myself, I believe the ODTC should write a check to the Guillet’s and be done with it.
Kenn Maher October 23, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Gee...is that all the Guillets donated to the ODTC over 3 years: $1200 of all that stolen money? I feel slightly insulted! And Mr. Temple, as an attorney, you must know how long investigations take before anyone sees a courtroom, let alone closure. You also must know that our First Selectman (now,or after the election) has NO CONTROL over how soon this case gets to court, whether they are an attorney or not! I doubt that MADR referred to receiving the $100K insurance payment as "closure". This payment was a first step in the right direction.
Kenn Maher October 23, 2011 at 05:53 PM
sorry-that last post was from Jane Maher on Kenn's profile.
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Something still does not seem right. Pinch said someone came with an Accusation. Surely someone must have had some proof to make the accusation known to the First Selectman in the first place. Would like to believe employees don't go about making accusations that are baseless. Seems that something is off with the timetable and there in lies the concern. Citizen Kane: I think it would be appropriate for the ODTC to donate that money to the animal shelter, or maybe Spooner House.
Kenn Maher October 23, 2011 at 09:13 PM
rachael, believe me that was no attack. That is the TRUTH. Maybe the police looking into Karen's thievery have more important matters like murders etc. Don't worry she'll get what's due her. But it's OK to attack Maryann, right! Hippocrites every one of you!
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 09:22 PM
MADR is a public figure that has caused more than her share of controversy during her tenure.Public figures are not afforded the same consideration as private figures in this regard...hopefully she knew at least that much before she came to her position.
Rachael R October 23, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Kenn:I wasn't talking about the police investigation's timetable, but the one at Town Hall...please stop trying to lump the two together; and I do believe they have a special division called Homicide that deals with murders anyway.
Truman October 23, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Rachel R You have been watching too much TV. The Major crime squad of the Ct State Police handles all crimes from larceny to murders. They don't have any special sections for one particular crime.
Haversat October 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM
I would like to address George Temple’s comment regarding his “idea” of establishing a police commission to address and expedite the tax collector matter. The concept of an Oxford police commission was first introduced over 12 years ago; ironically George Temple was town council at that time. Yet the administration he served under never put a police commission into action and neither did three administrations since that time. I’m not writing here to establish the pros and cons of a police commission, but to point out that Mr. Temple’s statement on the tax collector has absolutely no bearing on a police commission. To quote Mr. Temple: “The police commission, of course, would be responsible to aid the State Police and Oxford Police in the smooth administration of justice." The primary function of a police commission is to serve as a policy setting board, aid in the hiring of officers and disciplinary review of a police department. First and foremost, Mr. Temple must understand that our former tax collector Karen Guillet was not a police officer. Therefore even if a commission were in place, the board would have no responsibility or charge to handle or aid in this matter. Mr. Temple’s statement may sound on the onset to be the answer to swift justice, but only represents political dialogue with no substance or speedy resolution to this issue.
jeb October 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM
John, are you a lawyer? I think not because your reply doesn’t make sense. There have been cases in the papers in the past when some one was charged with a crime at one level and the charges were increased later as new evidence was developed. Such as manslaughter to murder or failure to drive in established lanes later upped to DUI. RESTITUTION is still the appropriate word. Guillet admitted to theft of $3,093, therefore there is no wiggle room to say “alleged”. People want to know there will be accountability and “charging” her will assure people that this will not be swept under a rug do to perceived public apathy. We need Town counsel to answer the questions or some knowable criminal lawyer to comment on the generic issue of charge now and upgrade later.
JYD October 24, 2011 at 12:34 AM
Has anyone else noticed there's a User ID for Haversat, and another ID for Dave Haversat? Which one is the imposter, or is it both?
YLiberalsWin October 24, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Mr. Haversat has no ideas so he attacks Mr. Temple who has introduced many good ideas. At least Mr. Temple is providing leadership on this issue which a lot of folks are upset about and want more pressure for justice.
NEW GOP October 24, 2011 at 12:58 AM
@JYD--He’s got several. He is like a chameleon!
Haversat October 24, 2011 at 01:02 AM
Hello JYD, I had set up two accounts David Haversat and Haversat so there would be less likely hood of “imposters.” I typically have used the “Haversat” username to post. You can contact me at - http://www.facebook.com/DavidHaversat Best, David
NEW GOP October 24, 2011 at 01:05 AM
He's a joke and the ORTC is another Joke. Mr Temple is a good man that really cares for this town. What happened to the Oxford Republican Party web site? Do we still have one? I can't find it! Anyone have the correct address or did they shut it down because their candidate didn't win the caucus or primary?
Ruby October 24, 2011 at 02:13 AM
I don’t know why Mr. Temple and Mr. Haney's supporters are so angry it’s a total turnoff for me and my family.
Bernard October 24, 2011 at 10:14 AM
Jeb, if you don't trust the state police and our judicial system, how would some town attorney change that. The issue that some have raised here has to do with impatience and wanting "their" money back now. Where in our system does justice work so swifltly. Are those Cheshire home invader/murders getting their injections yet? It takes time and those posting here are trying to raise questions so that they can blame Joe Calabrese by pinning some screw-up on Mrs. Rogers and him by association. Although I do have some knowledge of how our legal system works (and I'm not being willfully ignorant), you don't have to be a lawyer to see through this dubious political strategy.
Jennifer October 24, 2011 at 02:51 PM
"If such a commission were in existence today, it would be able to bring to bear the full moral outrage of the Town of Oxford at this crime and encourage the prompt disposition of this matter." I laughed out loud when I read this. Really?! This has got to be one of the most meaningless bits of drivel masquerading as a political platform, that I've ever seen. You're plan is to appoint a committee that will be able to “bring to bear” our “full moral outrage.” What exactly does that even mean? Talk about an impotent committee- unless you are actually suggesting that the CT State Police Major Crime squad is dragging their feet on this, and will suddenly "snap to" once they've heard said declaration of "moral outrage." Perhaps it’ll be that grand pronouncement, combined with the committee’s charge to “encourage the prompt disposition of this matter” that will make all the difference. Yes, I'm sure that’ll turn this thing right around!! Thanks for the dose of levity on this Monday morning.
Janis Hardy October 24, 2011 at 08:59 PM
Citizen Kane: Contributions made by Nil are legal and unrelated to this matter. HE is allowed to spend his own money any way he pleases without public scrutiny. Can you prove that the funds contributed by Karen were actually stolen dollars, or funds from other sources, like her paycheck? How many years do you want to go back, and why didn't you also check contributions to the ORTC? And lastly, neither committee is allowed by law to pay over any of these monies to the Town of Oxford. Check out the campaign finance regulations. Your constant harping on the campaign contributions to the ODTC is all about politics, and not about restitution at all. This scandal has marred the collective psyche of this town, and has brought with it shock, anger and a great deal of sadness. Why pour salt on our collective wounds by making it political fodder for the current campaign? This will end when it ends. Like John and Pinch have said, there is a legal process, and it takes time. Much as we would like them to be, not all cases are solved in 60 minutes.
Janis Hardy October 24, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Way to go, Jennifer! I agree with you 100%!
Janis Hardy October 24, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Sorry, Y, but I will have to agree with Mr. Haversat on this one! The idea of a police commission was suggested by Mr. Tremple during Paul & my 1997 campaign. In 1998, we appointed a Charter Revision Commission, and among several of the recommended changes was the creation of said commission. The revisions were approved by voters and went into effect Jan. 1, 1999. Paul and I were in office until Nov 2001, and at no time did we even discuss creating a police commission. Ten more years and three administrations later, still no police commission. This year, the Charter Revision Commission almost eliminated it entirely due to lack of interest. A police commission would do exactly what Dave said, and would have absolutely NO bearing on this, or any other 'case' involving the Town of Oxford. How great is politics when any candidate can say anything they want regardless of facts or its relevance. Keep up the good work, Dave!
pa October 27, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Folks, folks...this was a crime; $3600 or $360,000, it doesn't matter. Its far more than the 650K everyone is talking, far more. She hasn't been arrested for anything and I worry that she never will. Us folks, we would be in jail right?!!? Rumor has it she is not even in the state any longer. I hear she loves the northern part of the US. Karen had been stealing from us probably since she started. I'd dare to say at the two year mark. With no checks and balances and the way she did it, its fairly safe to say it was easy for her. I figured out how she did it to me to the tune of $9800 bucks. Yup, you read it right. Always had to pay in cash, always got a receipt. She'd keep the cash, then throw the amount due into a suspense account, which by the way, never went to the taxpayer or anyone else for that matter-to this day Oh, and she also stole from my dead mother-in-law. Took her last two property tax payments and had the audacity to keep her license plate on the tax roles. Why? A place to hid the other thefts. And I can prove it all. Come on folks, this isn’t rocket science. Its a bait and switch, plain and simple. All to buy crap, stuff and things to make poor miss forever twenty one, see you next Tuesday, feel better. Pleeze, its beyond predictable. Me, I'm waiting for her to get arrested. The moment, and I mean the moment it happens, small claims court here I come! Good luck to all!

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