Judge Agrees to Attach Half of Guillet's Assets

Witnesses do not testify in civil case; case continued to

The town of Oxford can secure at least $150,000 worth of property owned by a former tax collector accused of stealing more than $670,000 from the town if it wins a civil lawsuit on file at Derby Superior Court.

A Superior Court judge on Monday made the decision to attach half of assets to a civil suit the town has filed against the 24-year town employee who resigned on June 2, six months after the town discovered missing money from the tax collector's office and Guillet admitted to taking $3,093, town officials said.

First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers said an investigation into the matter indicates Guillet stole much more, and therefore, the town has filed a civil lawsuit against the former elected official. Meanwhile, the state police Western District Major Crime Squad continues its investigation, which could take another four years to complete, per state law. No criminal charges had been filed against Guillet as of Tuesday.

On Monday, the judge held a closed door meeting in her chambers with attorneys representing both sides before deciding to attach half of the assets onwed by Guillet, whose 1,652-square-foot saltbox-style Colonial is assessed at $217,000, which is 70 percent of the fair market value of the property.
Monday was supposed to be an evidentiary hearing, but none of the witnesses at the meeting were able to testify. 

First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers called the hearing a "step in the right direction."

"The action gives the town a measure of protection while the case proceeds," she said. "...It does not limit the town from going after additional assets or treble damages in this case."

The civil case has been continued to March 18.

A previous Oxford Patch story on this issue is pasted below. Links to other stories on this issue are attached.

The  below was published on Oxford Patch on Jan. 13.

It has been exactly one year since former beloved Tax Collector Karen Guillet fell from grace after she admitted to stealing more than $3,000 from the town.
Since then, the town says it has learned she stole more, a lot more, and now it plans to present evidence to a judge that proves the claim.

On Feb. 7, a Superior Court judge will hear evidence at 2 p.m. that the Town of Oxford says will prove the former tax collector stole more than $670,000 between July 2003 and December 2009, according to the state of Connecticut Judicial Branch.

The town has filed a civil lawsuit against Guillet, a Democrat who served the town in the elected position for 24 years until she was placed on unpaid leave on Jan. 13, 2010. That's when the town says she admitted to stealing $3,093 from the tax office during questioning about claims from unnamed town employees. As evidence mounted against her, Guillet officially resigned on June 22.

Now the town wants to attach Guillet’s assets, including her home at 2 Douglas Drive, to the lawsuit in an attempt to recoup some of the $671,768 she is alleged to have stolen, according to the lawsuit. The house, a 1,652-square-foot saltbox-style Colonial, is assessed at $217,700, according to Vision Appraisal Technologies, a company contracted to perform the town’s revaluation of taxable property.

The civil lawsuit is separate from legal actions that could come from the case, which is being investigated by the Western District Major Crime Squad of the Connecticut State Police. Investigators have said it could take up to five years to complete an investigation, First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers said.

An ad hoc committee composed of Board of Finance member John P. Kiley, Jr., Town Hall Administrative Assistant Joseph Calabrese and Finance Director James Hliva investigated the claims against Guillet. Although the lawsuit does not state specifically how they believe Guillet stole money, it indicates that the committee does have solid proof that she did. The lawsuit is not clear about whether the investigation went back further than July 2003, nor does it include a response from Guillet.

Guillet has not responded to several requests for interviews.

Patty February 09, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Can't they freeze her bank accounts, along with her families. She already bought property in other peoples names, with OUR money. Actually, since we rent the CL&P building for the BOE, can't the BOE just move their offices to her house and set up shop. The contents of the house are ours anyway! She belongs BEHIND BARS!
Pinch Hitter February 09, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Mr. Denham, The Tax Collector issue is not a game, it is a real problem that spanned at least 6 years and BEGAN during the Palmer Administration. So if you want to try to say OTHERS were involved, be very careful because nobody else has been accused and there is no information that any others were involved, but if you want to claim others were, offer up those name from both Administrations and put yourself on the line for publically accusing an elected official of a crime. As far as the Tax Collector herself or any other person (elected or other) who either steals or commits a crime, that person should be THROWN IN JAIL and made to suffer like those whom they have harmed. Hopefully the state, who is responsible for the criminal investigation, will do what Oxford has done and gone after her once all available information is known. Unlike a Civil lawsuit, criminal cases take longer because the burden of proof is much higher. Since the law does not allow Double Jeopardy, cases move forward only once those who are prosecuting them feel that the information shows that the person accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which would result in a guilty verdict. When this finally happens in the Tax Collector case, everyone, inlcuding myself, will be HAPPY TO SEE the Tax Collector thrown in jail for the crimes she committed against Oxford and its residents. Is that clear enough for you because on this issue, we do not disagree!
Betty Ippolito February 10, 2011 at 10:24 PM
All well and good, but I have one question....How come Karen hasn't been arrested and then have to post bail so she can walk the the streets until a trial date is set. She is a "CRIMINAL" as far as I can see. If it were me they would have me in jail already?????
Pinch Hitter February 11, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Betty...see the third paragraph of my reply above. Mr Denham, at a loss for words now that you know my position? Good!
BDI February 15, 2011 at 03:24 AM
Pinch Hitter ~ 6 years huh? Began during the Palmer Administration huh? Really do you know how far they have gone backto check the records in the tax office? We all know it's been going on for a LONG time! Remember she's been there for 24 years and the town is STILL finding issues!!! Just ask MAD! Actually...I think you should become a politician! You fit right in! You seem to have something in common with diapers and politicians! As they say...they both should be changed regularly and for the same reason!!!!


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