BUCKSPORT, Maine — A logger accused of not paying for trees harvested from a lot in Bucksport claims he never meant to withhold payment for the timber.
“I had every intention to pay,” said Paul MaGuire of Prospect, who along with his son, David, had contracted to harvest at a 98-acre lot owned by Kelly Hannaford, of Bucksport.
Hannaford had accused the father and son of stealing wood after allegedly not receiving payments over several months and eventually losing contact with the MaGuires. She contacted Maine Forest Ranger John Cousins, who issued summonses to Paul and David MaGuire on the lesser offense of failure to pay for trees harvested, a civil infraction.
Maine law requires loggers to pay landowners for lumber within 45 days of delivering the wood to a handling or processing facility. Failure to pay for trees harvested carries a maximum fine of $1,000 plus restitution based on handling or processing facility receipts.
On Wednesday, July 18, an article about the MaGuires’ charges was published online at bangordailynews.com. Between the article going online and being published in print Thursday morning, MaGuire made a $1,000 payment to Hannaford, he said. Cousins confirmed the payment.
MaGuire said he “owed for the last couple of loads of wood” after harvesting Hannaford’s property from January to April, and had reached an agreement with Cousins to pay Hannaford $5,000. Regardless of payment, the MaGuires will still have to appear in court on Sept. 18.
“The $5,000 is more than we owe her, but I agreed to pay it just to be done with it,” MaGuire said. “Nobody ever had any intentions of not paying her for what we owed,” he said.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.