BATH (AP) – Tax reform crusader Carol Palesky was sentenced Thursday to 16 months in prison for stealing $41,000 from one of her accounting clients.

Justice Thomas Delahanty sentenced Palesky, 66, in Sagadahoc County Superior Court, The Times Record of Brunswick reported on its Web site.

Palesky pleaded guilty in July to a felony charge of theft by misapplication for taking the money from D.S. Stoddard Inc. painting and maintenance company. The bookkeeping irregularities were discovered when an employee laid off during the winter applied for unemployment benefits and discovered that no payments had been made to the state’s unemployment fund.

Delahanty rejected arguments from Palesky’s attorney that she is too frail to be incarcerated. Instead, he followed the state’s recommendation and sentenced her to 16 months in prison followed by three years of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution.

Palesky has long been known for her work as a tax reform crusader. Most recently, she led the unsuccessful 2004 Maine Taxpayer Action Network effort to have voters impose a 1 percent cap on property taxes.

Palesky has had previous brushes with the law.

She once served a year in federal prison for embezzlement from a Brunswick law firm where she worked as a bookkeeper. She was later found guilty of falsifying petition signatures during a 1997 drive to place a cap on Maine’s income tax and was sentenced to five years, with all but nine months suspended.



Information from: The Times Record, http://www.timesrecord.com

AP-ES-08-31-06 2006EDT


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