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Oxford Man's Petition Asks for Full Sentence for Former Tax Collector

Meanwhile, former tax collector Karen Guillet's husband has filed for divorce.

 

Don Pelletier considers himself a “country boy” who wants to live a quiet existence on his one-acre of property in Oxford.

But Pelletier, 62, says he also stands up for what he believes in, and thus, this one time, has thrust himself into the local spotlight. He’s the guy you see standing at the recycling center and other gathering places with a clipboard in hand urging you to sign a petition; it asks a superior court judge to give embezzling former tax collector Karen Guillet the maximum prison sentence under the terms of a plea agreement she accepted.

“I didn’t do this for publicity; I did it because I stand up for what is right,” he said.

Pelletier has collected about 500 signatures and hopes to get to 1,000 by Oct. 18. He will send the petition to Milford Superior Court Judge Richard Arnold in hopes that he takes the public’s sentiment into consider before sentencing Guillet on Oct. 29.

Guillet, 62, has pleaded guilty to charges that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the town through a scheme while she served in her role as the elected tax collector, a position she held in Oxford for 24 years.

To avoid a trial, she has accepted a plea deal that calls for her to serve 12 years in prison with a possible suspended sentence after five years served. And she is being asked to pay restitution to the town in the amount of $242,903, the total amount state police have accused her of stealing. However, the state police investigation only goes back so far because police were able to prove she stole enough to charge her to the full extent of the law. Many people believe she stole much more; town officials conducted their own investigation and discovered she stole more than $670,000 over just the last five years of her tenure.

In court on Oct. 29, Guillet’s attorney, Dominick Thomas, has the right to argue for a reduce sentence. That doesn’t sit well with Pelletier, a longtime judicial marshal who retired because of a medical issue.

He says that he received notification this past year that he owed taxes from 1994, taxes that he knows he paid. He had to prove that he paid those taxes in full. He eventually had his name removed from the delinquent tax rolls because he had taken out a building permit for a shed at one point; he would not have been able to receive a permit if he owed taxes.

“The money they said I owed had to be well over $1,000,” Pelletier said. “It was taken by somebody. I can’t prove (Guillet) took it, but it sure seems that way. And if that was missing from 1994, how much is really missing?”

In his career, Pelletier said he’d seen criminals give “every excuse in the book” at sentencing.

“All of a sudden they have a sick grandmother, or someone else they had to take care of,” he said. “The judge has to hear that, but I also want him to take into consideration how the people of Oxford feel.”

Meanwhile, Guillet has other issues to worry about. This past week, her husband, Nil, filed for divorce.

The town has filed a civil lawsuit against Karen Guillet in which Oxford seeks reimbursement. The lawsuit says Oxford has the right to go after her assets. Whether the divorce will affect what assets Oxford can go after remains to be seen. The civil lawsuit is being held in abeyance until after the criminal case is resolved. 

UBrown October 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I agree with this.....Why wait until her assets become untouchable!!!!? The article doesn't say how / where you can find Mr. Pelletier and sign his petition....does anyone know???
Rhonda October 01, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Yes, Karen needs to be held accountable for what she's done. Her husband does not, he didn't commit the crime, she did. Her family, including her husband was not aware of what she was doing. Her assets need to be attached, not his. He has worked hard through out his life and doesn't deserve to lose everything he has worked for because of what she's done. The court can decide what their assets are like they would in any divorce case. This awful incident has been devastating for her friends and family. Do you think they aren't angry, hurt, confused, torn while being subject to lots of nasty comments that don't apply to them, children included? Do you think this has been easy on them?
James Property LLC October 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I also would like to know where to sign. I believe that what you all have state is correct it is just another scam to get some more out of the taxpayers and their $$$. If they are divorcing now then all the either of them held before should be sold and given back to that taxpayers / the town including any thing the kids were given like cars.
pa October 01, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I dont believe for one minute that her husband, children and grandchildren did not benefit from this theft. There are questions that need to be asked by these people, including her friends, who reaped the benefits of her theft. Someome making fifty-five grand a year does not afford the lavish gifts she passed out. Karen has been stealing since the second year she was there, that is a no brainer. She deserves the entire sentence.
Oxford Citizen October 01, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I would like to sign the petition. Where do I go to sign it? Lord forgive me my skepticism but I bet the divorce is just a shrewd move to protect their a portion of their assets from civil suit. Hubby had to know, give me a break. C'mon, folks. Didn't we learn anything from old Barnum down the road?
HonestAngel October 01, 2012 at 04:42 PM
"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself" - Wayne Dyer
Oxford Citizen October 01, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I wish the petitioner would post here and tell us where to find him. I will go wherever he is to sign his petition. This scam artist tax collector deserves the full sentence. Her thievery is an outrage. Think of it: there have been innocent people killed at dangerous intersections here in Oxford where citizens are crying for traffic lights to be installed. Perhaps if our duly paid tax funds were in the citizens coffers where they belonged some of that money might have been used to purchase a traffic light at the danger spots and the poor souls killed at those intersections might still be walking among us. Karen-Evita's manicures and dog walking services and jewelry and gambling vacations doubtless have tolled a more profound and a tragic cost to the town than we ever imagined. Think of it in a reverse "It's a Wonderful Life" scenario and picture what our little town might have purchased and done and been had our local Evita's manicured fingered not been constantly dipping into our citizens' hard earned (and paid in good faith) funds. It is a outrage.
Connie October 01, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I know he was at recycling this past Saturday and if I heard correctly there is a petition in the smoke shop? He is quite passionate and I'm sure he would even meet someone to get the signature.
Dave October 01, 2012 at 06:26 PM
go to the smoke junction in the plaza at Great Hill Rd. and Rt 67. The petition is in there
Paul Singley October 01, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Yes, I was just going to say that. Smoke Junction has em. Thank you, Dave.
Jeff M October 01, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I nearly had my motorcycle towed hours from my home. I lost many hours at the DMV, hours on the phone visiting the town hall just to clear up a tax issue in the DMVs system all resulting from "unpaid taxes only in the year 1999 and 2000." I work in finance and this is a serious crime committed on every instance not just once. Most states give 5 years minimum on a one time theft of a vehicle ~$9,000, imagine a repeat offender they would spend 15-20 years in jail. She is no better because of her job than anyone on the street who stole that car or truck. Giving an easy sentence because of her Class or status is slap in the face to our civil rights. "I don't want no peace, I want equal rights and justice"
Elise October 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I'm always baffled as to how imprisoning people for non violent crimes, such as this, helps anyone. Our tax dollars pay to keep these people in prison and to what end? Yes, a crime was committed, but was it a violent crime? Is this a person who needs to be locked away from society so she can't hurt anyone else? The embezzlement is obviously no longer an issue, other than punishment, what does putting her in prison accomplish? Wouldn't it be better to hold her accountable for the money and find something useful for her to do as punishment instead? An hour of community service for every dollar she took? I don't know .. it just seems like there is a better way. We let violent criminals out of prison after serving only a small part of their sentence because we don't have enough room to keep them there. I'd rather see them stay in longer and see non violent offenders contribute back to society instead of being a drain on it.
Oxford Citizen October 01, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Dave, Thanks for the info on the petition. I will sign and ask others to sign! Jeff, that is absolutely wrong what happened to you!! I hope others will sign this petition!!
Molly October 01, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I agree with this comment; this is a non-violent criminal, and prison does not really help the taxpayers of Oxford. Her just penalty, however, should be restitution, paying back double the amount stolen. In the time of Jesus, tax collectors cheated the people, which is why they were so hated. One of them, Zacchaeus, turned to Jesus, and then paid back those he stole from four-fold! Let Karen get a job somewhere else, but attach her wages for the rest of her life, and confiscate as many of her assets as possible, similar to what they do to drug dealers.
Gail Devo October 01, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Nil, getting a divorce, yeah right. He is so distraught over this matter, give me a break. His attorney probably told him, get a divorce, Karen will give you all the assets and when Karen serves her time (which 5 yrs is not enough) and then look at that, Karen and Nil worked thru their differences and they will remarry. What a happy ending. Andddd in the meantime, Nil walks around town like nothing has happened, saying Hi to everyone, how's it going, what a fool, does he think the people of Oxford are stupid. Nil wake up, get your divorce, sell the house, give the money from the sale of your house back to the town of Oxford and do your self a favor, move!!!!!
Ruby October 01, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Elise and Molly, your reasoning and logic are flawed. She may not be a violent criminal, but she manipulated peopel and the system and ruined peoples lives. In many ways she has gotten away with much more then she is being accused of; the town / state can only go back withing a certain time frame for missing funds. Karen had this position for over 20 years and may have stolen from day one. She used our tax money for expensive clothes and shoes, new cars and the best wine money can buy. She needs to serve jail time because she can never repay all that she took from our town. She was entrusted by the citizens of Oxford and took an oath to uphold the peoples trust. She now should spend a minimum of 10 years in prison for her actions.
Citizen X October 02, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I think prison plus restitution makes perfect sense. If she is allowed to just pay everyone back, what's the punishment? In that case it would be as if she'd just borrowed money & is paying it back with interest. I'm not certain of the law, but I assume the state/statutes are smarter than I & that by getting a divorce I doubt her husband will be able to protect any assets. By the time the divorce is final, even if a divorce were able to protect the husband, the sentencing will come before then. Just based on timing I would assume that all assets will be available in order to pay back the town. In terms of whether the family knew what was going on, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where they didn't know. Unlike many people, I grew up with their kids & spent plenty of time at their house. I really liked the entire family, including Karen. But I believe I read that cash & receipts were stuffed in the laundry room. Their house was nice, but it wasn't big enough so that the family wouldn't have seen money/receipts in the laundry room. If I were living there, I'd want to know why there was cash in the laundry room. I hope they didn't know, & if they didn't I hope the family is treated as such, but I can't see how it would be possible. They certainly benefited from it, as it would have subsidized their living expenses. If stolen money went into assets of the business, then it gets even more problematic for them. Let's see what happens, & don't forget about the civil suit.
melissa October 02, 2012 at 06:46 PM
It seems as if what she did is a form of an addiction. She got a "high" off of taking money and couldn't stop. She should though have sought help. She should serve some time, get some help, and pay back the money. I don't think though everyone looking down at her and judging her is the right thing to do. People who make bad decisions are not bad people.
Debbiem October 03, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Prison time for this woman is not the answer! Her life style that she unfortunately has become accustomed to has now drastically changed forever! Let her pay the money back and learn from her mistakes! She is not a bad person, just an unfortunate person who made really bad choices. The amount of people calling for her to spend years in prison is just ridiculous and very ignorant on your part! I will be sending a letter to Milford court on Karen's behalf asking the judge to spare her prison time!!!
Fed Up October 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Prison is the answer and full restitution in full with interest and some type of monetary penalty.Karens life style should forever be changed.She stole taxpayers money.I would guess it could be as high as several million dollars.And Nil and family walk around town like nothing is wrong.She is a bad person who made bad choices,and if she was a good person as some claim she would not have done this.And to say itwas an addiction or a high is a lame excuse.12 years is not long enough.Wait for the civil case and hopefully the IRS will get into this.
Debbiem October 03, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Fed Up - please find some religion in your life. It may help with your anger issues.
Dave October 03, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Debiem, think of what benefit the taxpayers would have received from the money stolen. Maybe our kids could have had better eduction tools like new text books,or even money to repair .expand or even replace the schools themselves. You know her family benefited from her theft. I can imagine the conversation"hey honey can you pick up an extra grand or so from work? I'd like to go to fox woods on Saturday." The IRS should investigate the whole family. I wonder if any of the money fell behind the washer during the spin cycle? She did a lot of damage to this town and needs to be made an example of. An embezzler can ruin a business many lives in the private sector. Just think about we are all victims of her crime.
Elise October 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I'm still not buying that prison is the answer. I don't really want to pay to send her there, but I don't believe that we should send any non violent criminals to prison. I fully recognize that her actions impacted a lot of people, but I don't believe the answer is to spend my tax money to lock her up somewhere where she'll just be a financial drain on society.
Kathy October 04, 2012 at 10:43 PM
The only way I think she should be able to avoid jail time is if she 1. Gives up the pension the town is being forced to give her. 2. Make full restitution for the money she stole. 3. Since no one will ever hire her-she work off what she stole by walking the streets of town cleaning up litter (8 hours a day, five days a week). Then I might think a shortened jail term would be acceptable. Yes, I want her punished.
x-oxford resident October 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM
the people on here that think jail is not the answer should think again,pay back the money i agree.but what if she had invested the money and it paid off 3x,then paying back the original amount whould be easy and great and everbody would try it.
Kathy October 04, 2012 at 11:24 PM
So true. We're hearing about it more and more in neighboring towns and companies. A good person can make a mistake but a mistake is once, not repeatedly over many many years. Thats is not a good person. That's a selfish person that thought she was above the law.
Dee October 08, 2012 at 08:50 PM
She was a lector at St. Thomas Church here in Oxford , many Sundays she would proudly walk out down the isle holding the bible as high up as she could! She is the devil in disguise,how could she mock God? Knowing that she had the whole town of Oxford made to look like a bunch of fools. The bible is Gods laws for us, and she needs to pay the consequences ! She knew exactly what she was doing.
Elise October 08, 2012 at 09:19 PM
In no way do I believe that just paying back the money is enough. I believe in lieu of 12 years in prison, she should put in 12 years of community service. It costs at least $20,000 a year to keep someone in prison. Do I want a quarter million dollars of my tax money spent to keep someone in prison for stealing? No, I do not. Make her DO something for us, not suck more out of us!
Judy R October 17, 2012 at 05:17 PM
She deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law - it that's 12 years then so be it. She stole from the people of Oxford! As far as the "divorce" goes, its just a ploy on their part so that they don't lose everything. He was in court EVERY time she was. He knew exactly what she was doing all along!
Nan November 07, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Karen did us in Oxford very wrong. She also embarrassed her kids. She has to live w the consequences.

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