MADISON — Officials involved in terminating the staff of the Anson-Madison Water District provided more details Thursday of the dismissals, including that the district’s superintendent had been let go earlier than previously thought.

The district’s board of trustees waited until late Thursday to issue a statement explaining the superintendent, Michael Corson, had been fired Dec. 7 “due to concerns about his management of the district.” The trustees did not elaborate on the concerns.

The statement provided to the Morning Sentinel came more than a week after district trustees dismissed about five district workers Dec. 14. A day earlier, the board voted to contract with the Maine Rural Water Association, or MRWA, to manage all district operations, according to the statement.

The problems at the water district became public last Monday when Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster announced Corson, 52, of Madison and the district’s foreman, Michael Jordan, 31, of North Anson had been charged with theft.

An investigation determined Corson and Jordan had sold old district water lines to a scrap metal dealer and then divided the proceeds among district employees, according to Lancaster.

The utility lines had been discontinued but were still owned by the district, according to reports. There were nearly two-dozen separate sales to the scrap dealer over several months.

The trustees said they learned after Corson had been fired that he and Jordan had been charged with theft.

Kirsten Hebert, executive director of the MRWA, declined to provide details last Tuesday when asked to elaborate on when the alleged events occurred.

“All of the former Anson-Madison staff were effectively terminated when the Anson-Madison Water District board of trustees made a decision to move into contract operations,” Hebert said.

It was not clear earlier why the other workers were dismissed.

“None of the employees laid off on Dec. 14 were terminated due to misconduct or any accusation of wrongdoing,” the board of trustees wrote in a statement released to the news media. “In recognition of their service to the district, those employees were given a severance benefit and were advised to apply with MRWA for any open and available positions.”

The statement did not specify when Jordan was terminated or if he was one of the those receiving severance pay.

Lancaster has declined to say how much money was collected through the alleged sales to the scrap dealer.

Corson and Jordan have been charged with Class C theft, which involves property valued between $1,000 and $9,999 and is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to officials. They are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 16.

The water district, which serves about 1,800 customers, is overseen by the trustees and not a municipal department of Anson or Madison.

The Richmond-based MRWA provides training, technical assistance and other services to water districts and other organizations in the state.

Thursday’s statement included that the water district’s trustees will not comment further on the alleged thefts or terminations.

In recent days, the water district’s Facebook page made no mention of the theft charges, the dismissals or operations having been turned over to the MRWA.

The district’s website also had no information and still listed Corson as superintendent.

It was not clear over the weekend if the district’s customers had been notified of the recent allegations or terminations.

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