AUGUSTA — A former Manchester town clerk who spent more than a year in prison for forging residents’ signatures is penniless and cannot afford to pay $80,000 owed to the town’s insurer.

Patsy A. Rollins, 58, of Sidney wrote court officials earlier this month to say she is unable to make the monthly installment of $100 because of her poor health and because her bills outstrip her income from Social Security disability payments.

The letter was in response to a civil lawsuit filed against her last month in Kennebec County Superior Court by the Maine Municipal Association Property & Casualty Pool.

The insurance pool and the town of Manchester sued Rollins in 2002, claiming she illegally took taxes and other town funds totaling $212,000 while she was the town’s tax collector and treasurer.

Rollins settled that lawsuit without admitting any guilt by agreeing to pay $80,000 to the insurer for funds it had reimbursed the town.

She signed the agreement at the Women’s Correctional Center in Windham on June 24, 2009, while serving sentence after being convicted of 31 counts of aggravated forgery.

Rollins was accused of forging residents’ signatures on U.S. Postal Service cards, which served as official notice that property tax liens were being attached on 31 properties.

But the homeowners had paid all their property taxes, even though it didn’t show up on town records. They said their credit ratings were wrongly damaged and their reputations harmed.

Rollins says she has been diagnosed with emphysema and will not be able to work again. She wrote the court that her $926 monthly check must cover car insurance, medications, gasoline, electricity and phone bills; and that she is receiving food stamps.

Her criminal convictions also require that she pay $10 a month to the state for probation supervision.

She also still owes $775 to the court for victims’ compensation fees which “I have not paid yet and am worried about and don’t know how I am going to pay.”

She also writes, “I do not own anything I could sell in order to pay this ($80,000) obligation.”

After receiving the letter, the attorney for the risk pool, James D. Poliquin, asked the court to issue summary judgment in favor of the insurer for $80,000 plus standard interests and costs.

He said Rollins did not deny owing the money.

“Rather, she merely asserts that she does not have the financial ability to make the payment,” he wrote to the court.

Rollins is representing herself in the case, which has been assignment to Justice Robert Murray.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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