Disciplinary hearing on Hancock County prosecutor set for next week

Posted Oct. 16, 2012, at 11:56 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A disciplinary hearing in Bangor for a Hancock County prosecutor has been rescheduled for two days early next week.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar is expected to hold a grievance hearing about Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett on Monday, Oct. 22 and Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor. Proceedings are expected to begin each day at 9 a.m. and are open to the public.

Kellett is accused of violating multiple bar rules in prosecuting Vladek Filler in 2009 on charges that he had raped his wife.

In an 18-page disciplinary petition filed with the Board of Overseers’ grievance commission, Kellett is accused of violating nine rules of the Maine Bar with statements she made during her closing arguments at Filler’s first trial, in January 2009, and by withholding evidence and interfering with subpoenas issued by Filler’s defense attorney for that trial.

Filler, who lived in Gouldsboro at the time but now lives in suburban Atlanta with his two sons, has contended since he was first accused of rape that his marriage was deteriorating and that his then-wife had fabricated the allegations in order to win custody of their boys.

Filler was convicted in January 2009 of gross sexual assault but was granted a retrial after the state supreme court determined that evidence that was barred from testimony should have been allowed and that Kellett made prejudicial statements to the jury during her closing arguments.

At his second trial, in Bangor in May 2011, Filler was acquitted of gross sexual assault but was convicted of assaulting his wife, from whom by then he was divorced. He later was sentenced to serve 21 days behind bars for the misdemeanor assault conviction.

Filler’s second trial was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh.

Filler’s most recent appeal was argued before the Law Court in June of this year. On July 3, the court affirmed Filler’s assault conviction.

Kellett, who is appointed to her position, and her supervisor, elected Hancock County District Attorney Carletta “Dee” Bassano, both have declined to comment on the pending misconduct allegations against Kellett.

Informal accusations and complaints against prosecutors are fairly common, but formal disciplinary hearings against prosecutors are rare in Maine, according to officials. Kellett also has been criticized heavily online, where she has been accused of unfairly targeting men for prosecution and where Filler’s supporters have called for her disbarment.

Among the Internet websites that have targeted Kellett is www.fillerfund.com, which was set up in the wake of Filler first being charged in the spring of 2007. Others include National Coalition For Men, Fathersandfamilies.org, and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, the last of which held a news conference in Bangor in the weeks before Filler’s second trial began.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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