William G. Wildoner, 72, of 689 Barnesville Drive, Ryan Township, who was scheduled to be sentenced Monday afternoon in Schuylkill County court on charges arising out of embezzling more than $300,000 in tax monies he collected as tax collector for Ryan Township, surprised the court by requesting to withdraw his guilty plea.

A surprised Judge Jacqueline Russell asked attorney Jeff Markosky, counsel for Wildoner, when was the decision made and he announced a few minutes ago after talks broke down with the district attorney.

District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon would not budge from her decision to recommend to court that Wildoner serve time in a state prison. Russell, with no objection by Byrnes, granted the motion to withdraw the guilty plea.

According to Noon the case will be tried next February which is the next criminal court term. Wildoner remains free on bail which is nominal, $15,000 unsecured bail on the charges filed by Ryan Township and Schuylkill County and $25,000 unsecured bail filed on the charges brought by Mahanoy Area School District, the three taxing bodies to whom Wildoner is claimed to have failed to turn over tax monies collected.

Wildoner had pleaded guilty last Oct. 17 to three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.

Russell had ordered a pre-sentence investigative report by the adult probation department, which had been completed and the judge had before her and ready to impose a sentence.

What the sentence would have been is unknown, but the court usually seriously considers recommendations from the district attorney.