AUGUSTA — District Attorney Evert Fowle used what will likely be his final meeting with Kennebec County Commissioners Tuesday to lobby for his replacement and suggest adding office staff.

Fowle, longtime district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, has been nominated by Gov. Paul LePage to serve as a District Court judge.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings on LePage’s judicial nominees at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Fowle, 54, of Vassalboro, was first elected district attorney, as a Democrat, in 2002.

He has declined public comment on his nomination pending the legislative hearing, but did reflect on his time in office during Tuesday’s department head report to the Kennebec County commissioners.

“I think I’m leaving a very good office,” Fowle said. “When other counties hear how closely and how well we work with the sheriff’s office, they are very jealous.”

Fowle, who stressed that his judgeship is still uncertain, threw his support behind Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley for interim district attorney if Fowle is confirmed next week.

Kelley, who lives in West Gardiner, has been in the office since 1979.

“Alan has been my right-hand person for the past nine years-plus,” Fowle said. “He’s fully up to speed on everything.”

LePage will select the interim district attorney to serve until a permanent replacement can be elected during next fall’s election. Under state law, the interim district attorney must be enrolled in the same party as the departing district attorney.

In November 2001, Kelley ran as a Republican against Fowle to replace Crook as district attorney. It was a cordial campaign, and Fowle won.

Kelley switched his party affiliation to Democrat several years ago.

Rita Moran, chairman of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, said that Kennebec and Somerset party committees are set to meet at 6:30 p.m., on Feb. 8 at Waterville City Hall to review names and select candidates for LePage’s consideration.

Fowle said the incoming district attorney will take over an office that is busier than ever. The office averaged $6,000 in revenue to the county in supervision fees when Fowle took over nine years ago. Last year the office generated $112,000.

Moreover, the office is dealing with more cases brought on by what Fowle described as a “recent and sustained spike upward in serious crime.”

The office is doing that extra work with one fewer person, Fowle said.

“Something, at some point, is going to have to give,” he said.

Fowle said administrative secretary Trish Chayer has worked the past six weekends to keep up with the workload.

“It troubles me,” Fowle said of Chayer’s workload.

Fowle said the next budget proposal, the process for which he hopes to start before leaving office, will likely include a new part-time or full-time employee.

“We’re at the breaking point,” he said.

Craig Crosby–621-5642

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