paonia embezzlement

Paonia Town Hall

After years and years of embezzlement, a criminal case, and prison time, the town’s dealings with Kirstin Chesnik are coming to a conclusion.  On Tuesday night, the town accepted the terms of a civil settlement with Chesnik.

Paonia Town Hall

The town of Paonia is still reeling from embezzlement.  As the town also grapples with a mulit-million dollar water project, all of the flexible reserves are spent, meaning the town has had to take a line of credit to cover costs. 

Charles Stewart and Ross King, board of trustees members, and Jane Berry, town manager, discuss the financial state of Paonia, and what can be done to work things out. 

Jane Berry
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Here's an extended interview with recently hired Paonia Town Manager Jane Berry. 

Berry talks with KVNF's Jake Ryan about the town's 2015 budget, the costs of the embezzlement, projects the Paonia is undertaking, and plans for how to get it back on track. 


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In March former Town of Paonia financial officer Kristen Chesnik pled guilty to the theft of $393,000 from the public coffers. On Monday she was sentenced by 7th Judicial Court Judge Charles Greenacre to four years in prison, followed by a mandatory five years of parole. The judge could not have given her more than five years in prison, because of the parameters of the plea bargain.