BANGOR, Maine — The Hermon School Department’s former director of maintenance, facilities and transportation waived indictment and pleaded guilty Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to stealing more than $28,000 from the School Department.
Larry Dearborn, 44, of Hermon was sentenced to six months in jail for Class B theft.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson ordered him to pay more than $1,632 in restitution. Dearborn began serving his time at the Penobscot County Jail immediately after the sentencing.
Dearborn repaid the district $28,000 from his retirement account prior to Thursday’s hearing, defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor told the judge. The defendant had no criminal history, the attorney said.
Anderson accepted the plea agreement between Tzovarras and the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.
Superintendent Patricia Duran and John Snyer, chairman of the school committee, attended the hearing but did not address the court. Members of the school committee submitted a victim impact statement to the judge.
Anderson did not read it aloud, but after reading it to himself said that “the school committee is understandably angry about the theft.”
Dearborn also did not address the court.
Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said in court that Dearborn has nine months to pay the school department the remaining $221.58. Dearborn also must pay the Maine Revenue Service $1,411.08 in sales tax that was not paid when he purchased items using the school department’s account. Schools are exempt from paying sales tax.
Dearborn used his position with the school department to purchase items for personal and business use between September 2007 and January 2012, Almy told the judge. Last year, the superintendent noticed what she suspected were improper billings to the school department.
Duran hired a private investigator to look into it, the prosecutor said. His investigation led him to Dearborn, who confessed when confronted.
The defendant’s purchases over several years included car parts and furnaces, the prosecutor told the judge. Dearborn would purchase the parts using school funds, then, bill customers whose cars or furnaces he repaired for the parts and labor.
Dearborn, who reportedly quit his job in March, had been employed by the school department for nearly 20 years, according to a previously published report.
He is the owner of Dearborn Energy Solutions, a limited liability corporation based in Hermon, and developer of heat capture technology called Heat S.T.O.P. for which he obtained a trademark on Aug. 18, 2010.
Dearborn also ran for a Town Council position in 2009 but lost to Douglas Sinclair, according to a report published in April.
He faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.