AUGUSTA —A Manchester man is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the Manchester Grange over a seven-month period last year.

Daniel Thomas Nichols, 33, faces two felony charges — one of theft by unauthorized taking, and one of forgery. Each carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The latter charge says that Nichols “with the intent to defraud or deceive another person or government did falsely make, complete, endorse or alter written instruments, checks,” and that the offenses occurred between Dec. 14, 2016, and Aug. 14, 2017, in Manchester.

The complaint, filed at the Capital Judicial Center, seeks restitution of $10,517. The case was investigated by Maine State Police Trooper Reid Bond.

Nichols, who is represented by attorney Scott Hess, was at the Capital Judicial Center on Tuesday for a dispositional hearing. However, the case was continued for two months after the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Tracey DeVoll, and Hess had a brief bench conference with the judge.

Nichols has yet to answer to the charges; however, he previously waived a requirement that his case be presented to a grand jury within a certain time limit.

According to a Dec. 21, 2017, filing by DeVoll, the state and the defense are in negotiations and a plea is likely.

After the hearing, Hess said, “We are working towards a resolution,”

In response to a question about the case, Sherry Harriman, president of the Maine State Grange, said Friday, “Our executive board is handling that, and our attorneys are taking care of it,” and then she immediately hung up the phone.

The Manchester Grange celebrated its 150th anniversary last September. At the time, it reportedly had 40 members.

Financial information about the Manchester Grange is unavailable on websites that track tax returns of such nonprofit groups.

At the time of the anniversary celebration, an event chairwoman said the Grange raises money for a nurse’s scholarship, the Home for Little Wanderers, a local fuel assistance fund and a local food bank; and it hosts bean suppers regularly from May to October, as well as two large craft shows.

Nichols was summoned to court on the charges, which were filed Sept. 21, 2017, and made an initial appearance Oct. 2, 2017.

He has been free since then, and no bail is set in the case.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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