Ex-Paonia Official Cooperating

Nov 29th @ 6:09 am in News by Scott Staley

This story originally posted at http://www.gjsentinel.com/

DELTA — A former Paonia town official accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the town over several years has worked closely with investigators over recent months, the former official’s attorney said Wednesday.

But Kristin Chesnik, 42, currently has no repayment arrangements with Paonia, Grand Junction attorney David Eisner said. “We haven’t gotten to that point yet,” Eisner said.

Flanked by Eisner, Chesnik appeared briefly Wednesday morning for the first time before Delta County Judge Sandra Miller. Chesnik was advised on a lone charge of felony theft of more than $20,000. Chesnik, who was not arrested but issued a summons in the investigation, was ordered back to court on Jan. 16.

Chesnik was cited Oct. 30 after a Colorado Bureau of Investigation probe concluded she used nearly $400,000 in town funds for personal expenses between January 2007 and December 2011. Chesnik cashed town checks and made other transactions with a town-issued ATM card, CBI said.

CBI and prosecutors have declined to specify the expenses that were made with taxpayer dollars.

Chesnik, a town employee since 2004 who had worked as finance director since 2006, resigned Jan. 25 after an audit of the town’s 2010 finances turned up discrepancies.