SKOWHEGAN — The investigation into funds missing from the Somerset County district attorney’s office continues with no charges filed six months after a search warrant was executed at the home of a former clerical worker in the office.

Julie Smith, of Madison, who started working in the office in 2009, has been at the center of an investigation into cash officials say is missing from fines, fees and restitution paid by defendants. The initial investigation was conducted by Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit, and since then it has been turned over to the Office of the Maine Attorney General. Smith had worked for the district attorney’s office as a legal secretary and front-office clerk.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said no charges have been filed.

“In financial cases, it generally takes longer to collect evidence,” Robbin said.

Smith’s attorney, Woody Hanstein, of Farmington, said there is nothing new to report on the case. District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said she turned the case over to state police to avoid any conflict of interest.

Allegations first were brought to the attention of the district attorney’s office manager in Skowhegan in October, authorities said.

A search warrant for Smith’s home and cars later was obtained from the court by Detective Herbert Leighton, commander of the State Police Evidence Response Team.

Smith’s husband is Mike Smith, the Somerset County emergency management director and county communications director.

The investigation began with the apparent loss of $300 in supervision fees in October, according to court documents. A subsequent audit determined that receipt books were missing. Only one active receipt book was found in the Somerset office dating back to July, according to papers filed in Skowhegan District Court.

A comparison of receipts from that book against bank deposit ledgers and the QuickBooks computer accounting program determined that a minimum of $2,100 was unaccounted for since late July, according to the affidavit for a search warrant.

Maloney said in February that her decision no longer to accept cash or personal checks for restitution, fines and fees was made in part because of the Smith investigation.

The warrant for a search carried out by Leighton in October included the Smiths’ home on Blackwell Hill Road in Madison; three motor vehicles registered to Julie and Mike Smith; Julie Smith’s cellphone; and any bags, purses or containers in Smith’s possession. An inventory of property taken in the search included records from Franklin Savings Bank and Bangor Savings Bank; receipts, papers and sticky notes used to identify defendants’ payments; planner books; checkbooks; deposit slips; office payment receipts; account cards; computer data and financial records.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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