CHELSEA — Many around town, it seems, would like to forget Carole Swan.

But that won’t be easy: The former selectwoman, convicted late Friday of seven federal tax and workers’ compensation fraud charges but acquitted on a count of defrauding the federal government on a 2007 Windsor Road culvert project and two additional workers’ compensation fraud counts, still faces another federal trial.

It will determine whether she extorted Whitefield contractor Frank Monroe as a selectwoman in exchange for giving him work in the town.

Stephen Langsdorf, the town’s attorney, said the town has a far bigger stake in that issue. For now, he said, “I think it’s fine to accept the court’s decision and move on.”

For some in town, that isn’t so easy. Randy Albert, who lives on Nelson Road, said he would have liked to have seen Swan convicted on all charges.

“I’m not overly happy with the verdict, as anyone would be if it was their neighborhood,” he said.


But, Langsdorf added, Swan’s future is likely bleak because of the convictions.

The five income-tax fraud charges she was convicted of carry maximum sentences of three years and a $250,000 fine. The two worker’s compensation charges carry maximum sentences of five years each, along with $250,000 in fines and resitution.

“Being convicted on seven of the 10 counts is significant,” Langsdorf said. “I don’t think she would be looking at this as a good thing.”

Jim Brown, who lives on Hemlock Ridge Road and counts the Swans as friends, said he’s content that a jury has ruled.

Her management of town, business and personal affairs has been the subject of Kennebec Journal investigations since 2010, leading to public outrage, an FBI raid of the town office and the federal charges.

“The town has judged them. The KJ has printed filth that has made everyone in the area judge them,” Brown said. “They are my friends. I do not judge my friends.”


At Damon’s Quick Stop on River Road in Chelsea, many shoppers had vocal opinions of Swan, but many didn’t want to give their name to a reporter.

One woman said she found her allegations of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, contractor Marshall Swan, hard to believe. Another said she couldn’t gauge those allegations, as she didn’t know what being in an abusive relationship was like. One man called the verdict “a terrible injustice.”

Rusty Hopkins, a former Chelsea resident shopping at the store with his kids, who now lives in Augusta, said he hopes the town can use the verdict as a way to move on from the incident.

“Now, people are just happy that it’s out there and hopefully done with now,” he said.

Michael Shepherd — 621-5632
mshepherd[email protected]

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