Former head of the Maine turnpike can receive state pension while in prison

Posted Jan. 26, 2012, at 9:48 a.m.
Paul Violette
Robert F. Bukaty | AP file photo
Paul Violette

AUGUSTA, Maine — The former chief of the Maine Turnpike Authority will get to keep his more than $5,000 per month state pension even though he may go to prison for stealing from the agency.

Former executive director Paul Violette is scheduled to plead guilty to felony theft on Feb. 6. He faces up to five years in prison as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Unlike many states, Maine does not have a pension forfeiture law to penalize public employees convicted of violating the public trust.

The agency’s new head, Peter Mills, says much of Violette’s pension will be used to settle debt he incurred paying $155,000 in restitution.

Violette’s attorney tells MaineToday Media there’s no reason to revoke the pension.

State Sen. Roger Katz says the Legislature should consider a pension forfeiture law.

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