SKOWHEGAN — Prosecutors dismissed theft charges against the former superintendent of the Anson-Madison Water District as his trial was set to begin Wednesday, but also filed a complaint for a new charge against him, marking the latest twist in a case that has had charges dropped and changed multiple times over more than two years.

The former superintendent, Michael Corson, 54, of Madison, was set for trial on four counts of theft by misapplication of property. Prosecutors alleged that he profited from selling about $12,000 worth of old water lines that belonged to the district between March and October 2021.

Michael Corson, right, is embraced by his mother-in-law, Corinne Mathieu, after the case against Corson was dismissed Wednesday in the Somerset County Courthouse in Skowhegan. At left is Corson’s wife, Shelley Corson. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The jury trial was set to begin Wednesday in Somerset County Superior Court. But shortly after the jury arrived at 9:30 a.m., Superior Court Chief Justice Robert E. Mullen informed the jury that the state had dismissed the charges.

Prosecutors, however, filed in court on Wednesday a complaint for a new charge against Corson, one class C count of aggravated criminal invasion of computer privacy.

The new complaint says that Corson “did intentionally or knowingly damage a computer resource of Anson Madison Water District, having no reasonable ground to believe that he had the right to do so,” according to a copy provided by Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

The alleged actions occurred on or between Nov. 23, 2021, and March 1, 2022, the complaint says. Corson’s employment with the district was terminated in December 2021.


Maloney said the dismissal of the theft charges and the new computer privacy charge came after discussions with the court and Corson’s attorney, adding that she could not comment further on the details of the new charge beyond what is included in the complaint.

“After discussion with the court, the state decided to take this route,” Maloney said.

Maloney also declined to answer if her office would charge Corson with similar theft charges.

Superior Court Chief Justice Robert E. Mullen tells the jury and others Wednesday at the Somerset County Courthouse in Skowhegan that the case against Michael Corson was being dismissed. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I can’t speak publicly about what those charges are until and unless they are brought to the grand jury,” Maloney said.

After Wednesday’s dismissal, Corson’s defense attorney, Darrick X. Banda of the Augusta law firm Bourget & Banda, said that prosecutors never had evidence that Corson committed a crime and called the case a waste of time and resources.

Banda also said he expected the state to file new charges at some point.


“None of these facts have changed for two years, and I’ve been saying the same thing for two years,” Banda said as he left the county courthouse. “(The prosecutors) have known this for two years. They’ve known that they haven’t had a case.”

Michael Corson, left, and attorney, Darrick X. Banda, leave leaves Somerset County Courthouse in Skowhegan after the case against Corson was dismissed Wednesday. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Corson and a district foreman, Michael Jordan of North Anson, were originally charged with theft in December 2021 following a Somerset County Sheriff’s Office investigation that began with a tip from a member the Water District’s board of trustees. Both Corson and the foreman were also fired.

In February 2022, the charges were dropped after the district attorney’s office said it learned of new evidence.

But prosecutors soon reversed course, and indicted Corson on two counts of theft later that month. Jordan was not indicted at that time, the Morning Sentinel reported.

Around the same time, Corson also was named in a federal lawsuit filed by the Water District in U.S. District Court in Bangor, alleging that he changed passwords to important Water District email and software applications while on administrative leave and did not provide them after he was fired. Water District staff regained access to the accounts soon after the lawsuit was filed.

It is not clear if the actions described in the lawsuit are related to the new computer privacy charge filed Wednesday. Both sides agreed to dismiss the lawsuit in May 2022, according to court records.


Corson pleaded not guilty to the theft charges in April 2022.

In August 2023, a superseding indictment added another two counts of theft. Corson ultimately faced class B, class C, class D, and class E counts of theft by misapplication of property. The different classes account for different dollar amount values of the items stolen, with the most severe class B count alleging theft of property with a value of more than $10,000.

Banda attributed the several changes in the charges over the course of the case to what he said was lack of evidence from prosecutors that Corson committed a crime.

The Water District did not own the water lines when Corson sold them, meaning that Corson did not need to deposit the proceeds into the district’s account, Banda said.

Banda admitted that there may have been a violation of the district’s employee policy, such as Corson’s use of district vehicles for unauthorized purposes, or his conducting of personal business on company time. But those violations do not constitute a crime, Banda said.

“If he’s using (a vehicle) in a way that, as a superintendent, (board members) don’t like, then fire him,” Banda said, “which is what they did.”

Corson declined to comment on the case but was seen smiling and hugging family members as he left court.

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