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Former Potsdam court clerk charged with driving through ex-husband’s garage door


POTSDAM - A Potsdam woman already facing charges for stealing money from the Potsdam Town Court was charged early Wednesday morning after she allegedly drove a vehicle through the garage door at her ex-husband’s residence at 196 Lenny Road in the town of Potsdam.

Canton-based state police charged Mary Jo Guyette, 44, of 1221 County Route 35, Hannawa Falls, with a felony count of third-degree criminal mischief. She was arraigned by Pierrepont Town Justice Robert Camp and released on her own recognizance on the new charge.

Troopers said the complaint was filed with troopers at 10:35 p.m. Tuesday and the arrest was made at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday.

According to court documents, Thomas W. Guyette at told troopers he and Ms. Guyette had gotten into an argument on his front porch when she threw a cooler at him.

“It didn’t hurt me, it just got me wet,” Mr. Guyette said. “Then Mary Jo got into her 2003 GMC Yukon Denali and drove forward and hit the left garage door, damaging it and knocking it off the tracks and breaking one of the windows.”

Ms. Guyette then allegedly backed the truck up and plowed into the second garage door, causing similar damage, Mr. Guyette said.

“She then backed up as to back out of my driveway and hit my truck,” Mr. Guyette said. “She then left.”

Prior to pressing charges against his ex-wife, Mr. Guyette told police he tried to contact both Ms. Guyette and members of her family, seeking a “commitment from them to fix the damages,” to which he said he received no response.

The former Potsdam Town Court clerk was arrested in February and charged with embezzling more than $117,000 from the court. She was charged with third-degree grand larceny and falsifying business records.

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.

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

She was alleged to have violated the conditions of her release under probation supervision by consuming five to six beers at the Birches.

The charges against Guyette followed an investigation by state police and the state comptroller’s office that revealed that, since June 2009, 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.

Ms. Guyette is scheduled to appear on the new charges at Parishville Town Court on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.

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