Maine files complaints against ex-commissioner's campaign

Posted Sept. 14, 2010, at 11:08 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Four campaign workers for former gubernatorial candidate John Richardson have been charged with falsifying documents during the Democrat’s efforts to qualify for Maine’s public campaign financing program last spring.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office alleges that the four individuals knowingly submitted false documentation to the Maine Ethics Commission as they worked to gather $5 donations as part of Richardson’s bid to receive public financing.

The four individuals are: Joseph Pickering, 54, of South Portland; Denise Altvater, 51, of Perry; Lori Levesque, 46, of Fort Kent; and William Moore, 46, of Brunswick.

Richardson, a former House Speaker and economic development commissioner, withdrew from the Democratic primary race in April after he failed to gather enough small donations to qualify for financing through the Maine’s Clean Elections Fund.

The Maine Ethics Commission had discovered the potentially fraudulent activity while attempting to verify the documentation submitted by the campaign. As a result, Richardson fell short of the minimum number of small donations needed to qualify after the signatures and donations gathered by the campaign workers were eliminated.

Neither Richardson nor his senior campaign staff were implicated in the potential fraud and are not named in the criminal complaints filed by the Attorney General’s Office.

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