Prosecutors have decided not to move forward with criminal charges against the former superintendent and foreman for the Anson-Madison Water District after the men were earlier accused of pocketing money from the illegal sale of district water lines.

Maeghan Maloney, the district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said new evidence came to light this week that prompted her office to decline to prosecute Michael Corson, 52, of Madison, and Michael Jordan, 31, of North Anson. Each had been facing a felony count of theft.

Maloney declined to explain what the new evidence was or how it changed the outcome of the case.

She said the decision was made after reviewing the results of the investigation, which began in October when the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from a member of the water district’s board of trustees after a person aired concerns about the sale of old district water lines.

“Based on newly discovered evidence, the state is not able to proceed with charges,” Maloney said.

The trustees fired Corson on Dec. 7 and later issued a statement saying it was done “due to concerns about his management of the district.” Jordan also was terminated.


Corson’s attorney, Darrick Banda, said in an email Tuesday that he began representing Corson on Dec. 21 and that “the reversal happened after I got involved.”

“As far as (Corson’s) job is concerned, one would hope that this might serve as a lesson to employers in the future to forgo making rash termination decisions before an accused person has had his/her opportunity to go through the court process,” he said.

Banda also declined to provide details on the latest evidence. He said Wednesday that in 20 years of work as both a defense attorney and prosecutor, he’s never seen a case in which authorities “reverse course so early.”

Trustees announced Dec. 14 that they contracted with the Maine Rural Water Association to manage all district operations. The remaining employees, about a half-dozen people, were laid off when trustees agreed to the contract.

A copy of the search warrant submitted by the sheriff’s office, and acquired by the Morning Sentinel, indicated that more than $12,000 was collected from the sale of discontinued utility lines to a scrap metal dealer. There were 21 separate transactions from March to October of last year, the search warrant said. Of that, $500 was deposited into a water district account.

Corson was told nearly a decade earlier by trustees that any money collected from the sale of discontinued lines belongs to the district and must be deposited into its account, according to the warrant. When asked by investigators in the fall if he remembered that conversation, he acknowledged that he did, the warrant said.


Sheriff’s investigators inspected cellphones issued to Corson and Jordan and the two had exchanged messages “talking about the money received” from the scrap metal sales, according to the warrant.

The two were accused of collecting $12,291 from the sales, which was split among five district employees.

District workers who were laid off were given the opportunity to reapply for positions after the Maine Rural Water Association took over operations. At least one of them was rehired, according to Kirsten Hebert, executive director of MRWA.

Hebert said that all positions have now been filled at the district. She declined to comment further this week.

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