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Trustees request Chesnik remain on supervised parole

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Paonia trustees unanimously approved to send a victim impact statement to the Colorado Department of Corrections Parole Board requesting that former town finance officer Kristin Chesnik remain under supervised parole.

The town was recently notified by the state that Chesnik is being considered for early parole. In June 2013 she was sentenced to four years in prison and a mandatory five years' parole after admitting to embezzling $393,000 from the town between 2007 and 2011 while serving as finance officer. The town has stated that the actual amount lost, according to its records, is about $647,000.

A civil judgment filed by the town against Chesnik in 2014 specifies that she repay $481,833. Of that she has paid about $3,800 in garnished wages, and a $2,000 tax refund under a criminal restitution order.

"We're currently garnishing $133.78 a week," said town attorney Bo Nerlin.

Police Chief Neil Ferguson said Chesnik is considered a "model parolee" by the state and checks in every three months.

Mayor Charles Stewart said a response is appropriate and that the parole board should be advised that the only payments the town received have been on an "involuntary basis." The town should be allowed to keep track of her "so the involuntary payments continue," he said. "There really hasn't been an attempt to repay the town."

Mayor Pro Tempore David Bradford expressed support of the letter. The fact that the board had to take steps to get any repayment "needs to be sent to the parole board," said Bradford.

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