State police sergeant enters not guilty plea to OUI

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 25, 2012, at 4:31 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — An attorney for a Maine State Police sergeant summoned in late June for operating her state police cruiser while under the influence of alcohol has entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.

Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Kafferlin said last week that Sgt. Julie Bergan’s attorney, Michael Harman of Millinocket, issued the plea in writing rather than appearing on Aug. 7 for her arraignment.

Kafferlin said the move is quite common in cases where a defendant retains counsel before arraignment.

The 54-year-old was issued a summons for OUI after she allegedly failed field sobriety and blood alcohol content tests at the Houlton barracks, state police Lt. Col. Raymond Bessette said last month.

Under Maine law, people may be issued an OUI summons when they are found driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more.

Police said Bergan reported for work in her state police-issued cruiser and her supervisor, Lt. Mark Brooks, and several co-workers saw her behaving in what they believed to be an erratic manner.

State police administrators then ordered her to be field tested and the summons was issued.

Bergan is a 24-year veteran of the Maine State Police.

Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins said this week that he would not be releasing Bergan’s blood alcohol content.

“The contents of an investigative report are generally made confidential by statute, one of the few exceptions is when we disclose investigative data during an open court proceeding, at which time the information disclosed to the court becomes a matter of public record,” he said. “To my knowledge we have not been asked by the courts to disclose her blood alcohol content for any purpose, so we will not do so now.”

Collins said Bergan has requested a jury trial. He declined any further comment on the issue, saying the case would be tried in court and not in the newspapers and other media.

Bergan is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation conducted by Lt. Erik Baker, who heads the Internal Affairs Division at state police headquarters in Augusta, Bessette said.

Bergan was promoted to sergeant in 1997.

State police typically are eligible for retirement after serving 25 years, Bessette said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/25/news/aroostook/state-police-sergeant-enters-not-guilty-plea-to-oui/ printed on September 20, 2014