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Tessier pleads guilty, sentenced to 12 months
MANCHESTER – Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson sentenced retired Manchester police Capt. Michael Tessier to 12 months in the Hillsborough County jail after he pleaded guilty to two theft charges Wednesday.
Abramson said earlier she would order a hearing to determine whether Tessier should pay restitution in the theft cases.
Tessier will surrender to custody Monday at 2 p.m. to begin serving his sentence.
Tessier pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from trust funds of Thaddeus Jakobiec, a blind, disabled cousin whose trust Tessier was overseeing.
“I'm not persuaded at this point I understand it well enough to say no restitution is needed,” Abramson said.
Tessier's lawyer said his client has repaid $230,000 in restitution already.
Tessier said he never intended to hurt his cousin. Tessier's lawyer said his client relied on his brother, a lawyer who is spending 5 to 15 years in federal prison for bilking the trust, to run the trust.
“I'm sorry for getting caught up and being stupid,” Tessier told the court.
Earlier stories follow:
Retired Manchester police Capt. Michael Tessier has agreed to plead guilty to two theft-related charges and spend 12 months in the Hillsborough County jail, a prosecutor said.
Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson will have to decide whether to accept the plea bargain.
He will plead guilty to stealing $75,000 from a trust fund set up for his blind relative, Thaddeus Jakobiec.
“He could have and should have been more strict in fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility,” said Tessier's lawyer, Mark Howard.
Tessier admitted his guilt to Abramson, pausing when she asked him if he was in fact guilty. The brother of Jakobiec, Dr. Fred Jakobiec, is expected to testify before Abramson passes sentence.
MANCHESTER - Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson said she will not direct Hillsborough County jail officials to release former Manchester police Capt. Michael Tessier on home confinement.
Abramson made the remarks Wednesday at the beginning of a hearing where Tessier is expected to plead guilty to stealing money from a blind, disabled relative, Thaddeus Jakobiec, whose money he was in charge of overseeing. Abramson said she may still agree to the 12-month jail sentence.
She just won't tell the jail superintendent how Tessier should serve the time.
“It's inappropriate for this court to direct to the House of Corrections he be released. I have the power and authority, I just don't think it's appropriate,” Abramson said.
Tessier has to decide whether to go forward with the plea bargain.
A nephew of former Gov. John King, Tessier worked his way up from patrolman to the captain's rank and retired in 2001 after 23 years on the force. He held several jobs since then: a welfare fraud investigator for the state, interim police chief in Bow, and director of the New Horizons shelter and soup kitchen.
He resigned that job in October 2010, shortly before his indictment. He is married to Manchester police Lt. Maureen Tessier, who plays a prominent role with the department as its chief spokeswoman.
Tessier was charged with the crimes in November 2010, six months after his older brother — disbarred Manchester attorney Thomas J. Tessier — went to prison for stealing $2.3 million from Jakobiec.
Indictments say Tessier recklessly disregarded his known legal obligation to Jakobiec by taking money from the trust. Tessier gave it to his brother, Thomas, and transferred funds to one of his personal bank accounts, the indictments allege.
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