AUGUSTA — The attorney for a former Chelsea selectwoman accused of misusing town money said he is working with federal prosecutors to try to negotiate a settlement.

Attorney Leonard Sharon was in Kennebec County Superior Court on Wednesday with Carole Swan, the former selectmen’s chairman, for a brief hearing regarding pending state charges.

Swan, 53, has pleaded not guilty to an indictment in Kennebec County charging aggravated forgery Feb. 4; attempted theft from the town Feb. 3; and two counts of improper compensation for services between Sept. 24, 2009, and Jan. 25, 2010.

The case is now headed to federal court.

“The feds have completed their investigation, and I have been meeting with the deputy U.S. attorney in charge of it,” Sharon said Wednesday. “We are in the process of negotiating a settlement in the federal case.”

Sharon said the charges under consideration by federal authorities are similar to those in the state court.


In Kennebec County Superior Court, Sharon told a judge that he has been in talks with federal authorities and expects the case to be moved to U.S. District Court.

Sharon said he was hoping to come to an agreement with the federal prosecutor prior to any indictment being brought in federal court.

If federal charges are brought, state charges would be dismissed. If that does not happen, Swan’s next court date in Kennebec County Superior Court is scheduled for March 6.

Swan was a Chelsea selectwoman for 19 years, most recently as chairman. She was arrested Feb. 10, and later decided not to run for re-election. Her term ended last June.

She is accused of accepting kickbacks from a Whitefield plow contractor, who told police that he had paid Swan $3,000 and $7,000 on separate occasions in 2010, and was being asked to inflate a bill for road sand so she could receive $10,000 more.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office then set up and recorded a sting in which the contractor, Frank Monroe, paid Swan an undisclosed sum in marked bills. Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Swan was later arrested with the cash in her car and admitted the scheme in a subsequent police interview.

Swan has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $25,000 bail.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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