Friday, September 20, 2019

Former ORE director pleads guilty to Class 6 felony theft

“She felt she was doing the right thing.”

By Adam Broderick

The former executive director for the Office of Resource Efficiency pled guilty to felony theft on Wednesday, August 26. After almost six months of delays in the case for various reasons, Kristen Van Hoesen admitted to taking approximately $4,200 in what her attorney says she describes as a misunderstanding of her pay grade with the local non-profit organization.

Van Hoesen’s attorney, Tom Rainville, says the whole situation is very unfortunate. She thought she earned $25 per hour, but was paid for $20 per hour, so she “misappropriated” the funds she believed she was owed.

According to Rainville, “My client got caught in the system and she really had to plead guilty instead of going to trial. If she went to trial and lost, she would not get the deferred sentence, she would get the felony on her record. So after consultation with others, that was her decision. She did admit guilt, she said she took the money, but she has reasons why the money was taken and she felt she was doing the right thing.”

Since she accepted the plea bargain, if she avoids trouble for the next two years the charge would be dropped and her record sealed.

Van Hoesen plans to speak on her own behalf at the sentencing hearing in Gunnison District Court on September 14. “I think people will get a better understanding of her and ORE and how they ran their books and how they ran their board, and they’ll see that a mistake was made,” Rainville said.

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