Paula Jensen has resigned as Oxford's tax collector after less than two months at the helm.
The decision leaves a void in the important government position, which has seen four tax collectors in the past two years - three in the past nine months.
First Selectman George Temple announced Thursday in a news release that Jensen resigned because she has taken a job in the private sector for more money than the $50,000 a year she earns as Oxford's tax collector.
“It’s always a danger when you hire good people like that they will be offered a position that pays much higher and unfortunately that is the situation," Temple said.
Oxford has had problems with its tax office for several years. It was first discovered in December 2009 when former longtime tax collector Karen Guillet was found to have embezzled hundreds of thousands from the tax office over several years. She was caught in by current assistant tax collector Sharon Scinto and was put on leave, before resigning in June 2010. She has pleaded guilty to first-degree larceny and faces up to five years in prison when sentenced in October.
After Guillet left the office, Jacqueline Orner was brought on as an interim tax collector. Orner lost in the November election to Cayenne Spremullo. She resigned in June, saying that part of the reason for her resignation was there were so many problems in the office left behind by Guillet. Jensen, who came from the private sector, was hired on July 3.
To hold over the tax office for the time being, Temple said he has hired a part-time person for the tax office until a replacement is found for Jensen. He did not say who that person will be. He said that person was hired "to catch up with the backlog resulting from our last collection period." Temple said he will conduct a diligent search for a new tax collector to stabilize the tax office.
In the news release, Jensen said, "I am pleased to have been a part of rectifying an extremely difficult situation during my time and have seen a great improvement. My personal and professional needs have changed, and I must address those needs. I truly have enjoyed serving the people of Oxford, and wish my colleagues continued success in their endeavors.’’