Man pleads guilty to falsifying documents while working for former gubernatorial candidate

Posted March 22, 2011, at 10:16 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A 54-year-old South Portland man has pleaded guilty to falsifying documents while circulating nominating petitions for former Maine gubernatorial candidate John Richardson.

Joseph Pickering pleaded guilty Monday in Portland to five counts of unsworn falsification of documents. In a plea agreement, Pickering will perform 120 hours of community service, and his record will be erased if he completes the service within a year.

Pickering was one of four former Richardson campaign volunteers charged with unsworn falsification while collecting $5 contributions in Richardson’s attempt to qualify for public campaign funding for last year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. When the charges came to light, Richardson dropped out of the race.

Pickering’s attorney told the Portland Press Herald that Pickering wasn’t properly trained and didn’t know he was doing anything wrong.

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