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Zynda plea, sentencing top story of 2013

Modified: Tuesday, Jan 7th, 2014

Wyoming U. S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) visits with SSG David Chamberlain of Guernsey at Isa Air Base in Bahrain. Barrasso along with Governor Mead, spent Thanksgiving day with members of the Wyoming Army National Guard 133rd Engineering Company.

GUERNSEY-The plea and sentencing of Guernsey’s former Clerk-Treasurer Leslie Zynda has been named the top new story for the Guernsey Gazette’s Top Ten News Stories of 2013.

Zynda was charged in March with one felony count of income tax evasion following seven years of employment as the clerk-treasurer for the Town of Guernsey when she admits she improperly took $276,706 from the Town’s funds. The tax evasion charge followed a two-year investigation by Internal Revenue Service and the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation. Zynda agreed to plead guilty to the tax evasion charge in return for Platte County prosecutors to drop their pursuit of embezzlement charges on behalf of the Town of Guernsey. Zynda was sentenced to two years in a federal prison and three years probation following her release. She will have to pay back restitution to the Town and Internal Revenue Service for an additional $75,089 to Internal Revenue for the taxes owed on the unreported income. She was sentenced May 22 in Cheyenne Federal District Court and was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing.

Stories for the Top Ten list were chosen based on impact to the community or the lives of local area families or residents and the level of public interest in the event or issue.

2. The deployment of the Wyoming National Guard 133rd Engineers Company based in Laramie, Wyoming included several Guernsey soldiers and had a direct impact on their family members and children. Tyler Schiele, Dave Chamberlain, Greg Niles and Dustin Wambach are al deployed to Bahrain to perform base security and have been gone since last spring. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and Governor Matt Mead spent the Thanksgiving holiday with the deployed soldiers. They are scheduled to return this spring following the nearly year-long deployment.

3. A 14-month project to make improvements and repairs at the Guernsey Dam closed the primary access road to the east side of Guernsey State Park began in January. The water levels were substantially reduced during that time and impacted the normally heavy recreational use over the summer months. Park visitors wishing to utilize the campgrounds and boat ramps on the east side of the lake, or access the state park museum, were forced to “take the long way around” by heading north on Wyoming 270 to use the north park entrance for those areas.

4. A land transfer between the Wyoming Military Department and the Town of Guernsey brought relief to the majority of residents occupying mobile homes in a court on the east side of Guernsey. The land was originally owned by the State of Wyoming and pending improvements and proposed construction had threatened to force the closure of the court and send current residents scrambling to find other lots for relocation. The land transfers allowed the Town to take ownership and save all but three or four lots to accommodate the improvements and construction. Residents who were forced to move had the option to move within the court to other open spaces.

5. A major development and upgrade project to Guernsey’s Industrial Park began in the summer of 2013. Streets, sewer and utilities were the lion’s share of the work to be done, which will vastly improve the industrial park and hopefully attract more tenants. The majority of the funding was secured in grant funds.

For the complete article see the 12-31-2013 issue.

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