Former Fairfield clerk pleads not guilty

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By Tim McNicholas

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Updated: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 09:18:37 CST

Fairfield's former clerk is accused of stealing over $100,000 dollars from a town of less than 400 people.

That's theft by deception and a class 3 felony, which mean up to 20 years in prison and 25 thousand dollars in fines.

Not guilty was the plea from Jennifer Bassett and her attorney Wednesday.

"I have a lot of difficulty believing that she's responsible for any of these allegations,” attorney Joe Murray said.

An annual audit found that Bassett made unauthorized purchases to Royal Caribbean Cruises and Wal–Mart.

But her attorney says pleading not guilty was the obvious decision.

"I'm not prepared to indicate that the evidence against her is overwhelming."

The evidence includes altered credit card statements and forged insurance paperwork.

Allyson Peshek took over as clerk in June.

"I feel like I need to get in there and fix a lot of things that were done wrong for a long time. And I think the auditors would agree," she said.

The next court hearing in the case will be held January 8th.

"There's much discovery that needs to be done,” Joe Murray said.

If Bassett is found guilty she'll face a minimum sentence of one year in jail.