ELLSWORTH, Maine — A former town official in Otis and Dedham has begun serving his sentence on burglary and theft charges after a lengthy appeal process.
Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy ordered David O. Cook, 63, of Dedham to begin serving the sentence after a hearing in Hancock County Superior Court last week to review a state Supreme Court ruling on his appeal.
Cook, who formerly was the town clerk in Otis and sat on the planning board in Dedham, had been sentenced in January 2008 to serve 3½ years in jail, with all but 18 months suspended, along with two years of probation.
Although the Maine Supreme Judicial Court vacated one of the counts against Cook, it did not change his sentence, according to Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett.
Kellett said the Law Court found a clerical error had been made in sentencing documents, which indicated that Cook had been convicted of a more serious burglary charge. The sentence, however, was based on the lesser charge anyway, so there was no need to adjust the time Cook was ordered to serve, she said.
Cook had been charged in 2007 in connection with a burglary ring involving several members of his family. At one property, both the house and garage had been broken into, according to Kellett. Cook was convicted of breaking into the garage, but not the house, she said. The law makes a distinction between structures and dwellings, making burglary of a dwelling a greater offense.
The state supreme court instructed the Superior Court to adjust the sentencing documents, but not the sentence.
During last week’s proceedings, Cook’s defense attorney nevertheless requested a reduction in the sentence. Justice Cuddy denied that motion and ordered Cook to report to jail immediately to serve the 18 months.
In other recent court action, Eric S. Carlisle, 37, of Orland pleaded guilty to several counts of burglary and theft and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Carlisle had been charged in connection with several burglaries and thefts in Orland in January, including a break-in at the Orland Fire Department.
John C. Tinker, 22, of Bar Harbor was sentenced to six months in jail on a charge of unlawful trafficking in drugs (oxycodone) and receiving stolen property (a firearm).
David S. Dorr, 22, of Bucksport was sentenced to six months in jail on a charge of unlawful trafficking in drugs.