Former Alfred Lawmaker Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Forgery and Theft

June 14, 2012

AUGUSTA ? Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that David R. Burns, 44, of Alfred was sentenced today following his pleas of guilty to three counts of forgery and three counts of theft, all misdemeanors.

York County Superior Court Justice Paul Fritzsche sentenced Burns to 364 days incarceration, all but six months suspended, and one year administrative release following his release from jail. Burns must pay $2,384 in restitution.

Burns won House District 138 as a Maine Clean Election Act candidate in 2010, representing Alfred, Limerick, Newfield and Shapleigh. A random audit conducted by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices revealed multiple violations of campaign finance laws. Burns transferred public campaign funds from his campaign account to his personal account to pay for non-campaign related bills and expenses. In response to auditor requests for original vendor invoices for expenses identified in campaign finance reports, Burns produced forged receipts for campaign payments that had not occurred.

Burns resigned his seat in late January, 2012 shortly before being indicted on February 8, 2012.

?This six month sentence sends a strong message to potential Clean Election candidates,? said Attorney General Schneider. ?Public campaign funds must be used strictly for election expenses and those expenditures must be well-documented. Legislators have a special duty to tell the truth in response to Ethics Commission inquiries. Using lies and deception to avoid responsibility is never acceptable, but this conduct by an elected official is particularly egregious.?

This case was investigated by Attorney General Schneider?s Investigations Unit. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider?s Criminal Division.