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Fri., Oct. 9
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Potsdam will seek missing money back from Guyette


POTSDAM — The town will attempt to recoup all or part of its missing $117,000 from Mary Jo Guyette, the former court clerk accused of stealing the money.

According to a recently released report by the state Comptroller’s Office, Ms. Guyette pocketed various court fees from 2009 to 2013, altering receipts and records to make it appear as if no money had been taken.

She was charged in February by the St. Lawrence County district attorney with second-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records, both felonies.

Because the town’s funds were regularly audited by an outside agency with no signs of wrongdoing, the town will not be held liable to pay the state any of the missing money owed, according to Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan. However, the comptroller’s report urges the town to try to recoup the lost money from Ms. Guyette.

“We’re not going to be forced to repay them, but they want us to see if we can try to get the money back from her,” Mrs. Regan said.

Ms. Guyette is expected to appear in Pierrepont Town Court on April 21.

“We’ve asked to make a victim’s impact statement if anything happens there,” Mrs. Regan said.

The town has implemented new security measures to prevent theft. Receipts are all being filed in the same place and in chronological order. Judges will be checking financial records more regularly, and white-out can no longer be used to correct physical records.

The town’s theft insurance through The Hartford Insurance Company will cover only about $12,000 of the missing money.

This week the town switched insurance providers. After a bidding process, the town went with the cheapest option, New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal. It also increased its theft coverage to $45,000.

“We’re anxious to see that justice is done, and hope that this will go to trial,” Mrs. Regan said.

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