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Guyette jailed after new judge assigned to case

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CANTON — A Franklin County judge has been assigned to hear the case against the former Potsdam Town Court clerk accused of embezzling more than $117,000.

Mary Jo E. Guyette, 43, of 1221 County Route 35, is charged with third-degree grand larceny and falsifying business records.

Ms. Guyette’s attorney, Edward F. Narrow, said the case was taken over by Franklin County Judge Robert G. Main Jr. in mid-May following the recusal of all of the judges in St. Lawrence County.

St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards and Family Court Judge Cecily L. Morris both filed letters recusing themselves.

In his certificate of disqualification, Judge Richards said he is disqualified to preside over Ms. Guyette’s case because her mother was his secretary when he was the district attorney.

Following his taking over of the case, Judge Main signed a warrant for Ms. Guyette’s arrest for her allegedly having consumed alcohol at the Birches, Hannawa Falls, on June 24.

Ms. Guyette was arrested by state police and sent to St. Lawrence County jail June 30 and was released on $50,000 cash bail the following day.

“Ms. Guyette was alleged to have consumed five to six beers at the Birches, where she used to work,” Mr. Narrow said. “She was picked up on a violation of pretrial release conditions.”

The charges against Ms. Guyette followed an investigation by state police and the state comptroller’s office that revealed that, since June 2009, Ms. Guyette allegedly had been altering court financial documents to hide the theft of $117,120.

She was suspended with pay in June 2013 when the discrepancies were found, but was fired Sept. 11.

No court date has been set in the case, Mr. Narrow said; however, he has been meeting with St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain in an attempt to reach a plea deal.

Because Ms. Guyette does not have a criminal history, Mr. Narrow previously said he is pushing for a sentence of five years’ probation supervision, restitution of $117,000 and no jail time following a guilty plea to third-degree grand larceny. Sentencing will be left up to the judge, Mr. Narrow said.

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