The Maine Ethics Commission investigates potential violations of the Maine Clean Election Act (MCEA) program. These matters resulted in criminal prosecutions since the program began in 2000.
Peter Throumoulos, York Sup. Ct. CR-06-163 was found guilty following a jury trial to three counts of Aggravated Forgery (Class B), one count Theft by Deception (Class B) and one count Attempted Theft by Deception (Class C). Throumolous, a candidate for the State Senate, had forged 150 signatures on R&A forms to obtain $18,000 in public campaign funds in 2004 and then forged 150 signatures on R&A forms and money orders in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the same amount in 2006. (He claimed that overzealous college students had in fact collected the questionable signatures.) He was sentenced to four years, all but 60 days suspended and three years of probation.
William Walcott, And. Sup. Ct. CR-07-1238, pled guilty to two counts of Violation of the MCEA (Class E), three counts of False Reports under the MCEA (Class C) and ten counts of Theft by Deception (Class D). Walcott had failed to return $2,933 of unspent campaign funds from the 2006 campaign cycle and produced fabricated records purporting to show that he had in fact used the funds for campaign purposes. Further investigation revealed that he had diverted an additional $3,294 of public campaign funds to his personal use during the 2004 campaign cycle. He was sentenced under a plea agreement to six months in jail for the ten theft counts of theft and to a suspended sentence of five months on the Class E MCEA violations (made up of consecutive terms of one month for each the five Class E crimes). The court also imposed two years of administrative release, with the requirement that Walcott pay restitution of $3,294 (he had previously reimbursed the $2,933).
Debra Reagan, York Sup. Ct. CR-08-1757, pled guilty to Misuse of Entrusted Property (Class D) and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Reagan had deposited all $4,874 in public campaign funds into her personal bank account during the 2006 campaign cycle and used all but $356 of the money on her mortgage and personal expenses.
Bruce Ladd, York Sup. Ct. CR-08-1756, pled guilty to Aggravated Forgery (Class B) and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Ladd had forged seven voter signatures on the R&A forms in his application to qualify for public funding as a House candidate in April 2008.
David R. Burns, York Sup. Ct. CR-12-276, pled guilty to three counts of Forgery (Class D) and three counts of Theft (Class D). He was sentenced to six months in jail and one year of administrative release with the requirement that he pay $2,384 in restitution. Burns had commingled $9,066 in public campaign funds with his personal funds in 2010 and produced false documents purporting to show that the funds had been used for campaign purposes.
Michael Hein, Ken. Sup. Ct. CR-12-444, pled guilty to one count of Willful Violation of the MCEA and was sentenced to seven days in jail. In his application for public campaign funds as a candidate for House District 57 (Augusta), Hein had falsely represented that he had received $5 qualifying contributions from 13 voters.
Victor DiGregorio, YRKCD-CR-16-3020, pled guilty to six counts of unsworn falsification and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, to be served in the alternate sentencing program. At least 18 of the voters purportedly signing the R&A forms and money orders had not in fact made a $5 qualifying contribution. DiGregorio had signed each of the forms as circulator.
Matthew F. Toth, YRKCD-CR-2022-00816, was indicted in December 2022 for 13 counts of aggravated forgery and two counts of unsworn falsification. He was a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives District 143 (Sanford) in 2022. During its review of his materials requesting MCEA funding, the Commission staff noticed irregularities in the contributor forms Mr. Toth submitted and conducted a limited investigation. The Commission staff declined to pay MCEA funds to Mr. Toth and case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General for further action. This item will be updated.
Former Rep. Clinton E. Collamore, Sr., LNCD-CR-2023-17, was indicted in December 2022 for 20 counts of aggravated forgery, 11 counts of unsworn falsification, and one count of criminal violation of the MCEA in 2022. After initially qualifying for MCEA funding as a candidate for Maine House of Representatives District 45 (Waldoboro), later during the election year Commission staff identified more than 30 contributor signatures that did not appear to be genuine and referred the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for further action. Rep. Collamore made an initial court appearance in February 2023 and pled not guilty to the charges. He has returned the MCEA funds he received to the Commission. This item will be updated.