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Former Gouverneur mayor rejects plea deal

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CANTON - The former mayor of Gouverneur, accused of making a fraudulent real estate transaction, has rejected a plea bargain offered by the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office.

Christopher A. Miller, 30, of 171 Rowley St., Gouverneur, appeared briefly Tuesday in St. Lawrence County Court with his attorney, John W. Hallett, Watertown.

Mr. Miller is accused of third-degree grand larceny for allegedly selling a Gouverneur house at 31 Edith St. for $50,000 without getting permission from the home’s co-owners, Ronald and Heather Sliter.

As a result of the new charges, he also faces charges of violating the three-year probationary sentence he received in January 2010 in Jefferson County Court, where he pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal trespass and petit larceny, both misdemeanors.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda N. Nissen told County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards that Mr. Miller was offered the chance to plead guilty to a lesser count of grand larceny. He rejected the prosecution’s offer, which included sentencing Mr. Miller as a second felony offender and requiring him to pay restitution.

As a result, Ms. Nissen said the grand larceny charges will be presented to a county grand jury, which will determine whether to indict him.

Mr. Hallett said Mr. Miller plans to testify on his own behalf before the grand jury.

Mr. Miller is scheduled to report back to county court Nov. 30 for a probation violation hearing. In 2010, he admitted unlawfully entering an apartment belonging to Heather Zrnick in the town of LeRay and taking money without her permission.

His probation terms included not violating any state or federal laws.

He was released under probation supervision.

Mr. Miller resigned from the mayor’s position Aug. 15 and was charged with felony grand larceny six days later.

In other court news: ■ Carrie Reith, 43, of 7982 Route 58, Heuvelton, was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for her conviction of felony driving while intoxicated on May 28, 2011, in the town of Macomb.

She was also ordered to pay $2,020 in fines and surcharges and had her driver’s license revoked. Her prior record includes a DWI conviction in November 2009.

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