Ex-Bucksport official gets prison term

Posted June 29, 2010, at 11 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:36 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former Bucksport town official has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the town.

Darla Crawford, 52, of Orland pleaded guilty in March 2009 to stealing nearly $37,000 from the town from July 2002 to July 2006.

Earlier this month, she received an overall sentence of six years with all but three years suspended in Hancock County Superior Court. Justice Kevin Cuddy also imposed a probation term of three years after she is released and ordered Crawford to pay more than $54,000 in restitution.

Sentencing in the case was delayed for a year to give Crawford time to repay some of the money. But Crawford has made no restitution payments, according to Hancock County Deputy District Attorney Carletta “Dee” Bassano. Crawford had worked at Bucksport’s town office since 1990.

The restitution order includes the amount of money Crawford stole and part of the expense of an audit the town had done in the wake of the thefts, Bassano said Monday. The additional $17,000 covers the cost of the audit that was not covered by the town’s insurance.

While working as the town office clerk and deputy tax collector, Crawford delayed depositing payments made to Bucksport’s ambulance account, prosecutors have said. In taking the money, Crawford typically would convert some of the check or electronic payments to cash and then keep some of the money before depositing the rest into the account, according to prosecutors.

The thefts came to light when another town employee noticed irregularities in the ambulance account.

According to court documents, Crawford stole money from more than 100 payments in separate amounts ranging from $50 to $648.

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