Judge rules against ‘illiterate’ Chelsea selectwoman

Posted Dec. 15, 2012, at 11:24 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A federal judge has rejected a former Maine town’s selectwoman’s efforts to keep statements she made to police out of her fraud trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk’s decision in the case of former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan was made public Friday and reported by the Kennebec Journal in Augusta.

Swan’s charged with extorting money from a contractor while she was selectwoman in the southern Maine town, and of fraudulently inflating the cost of road projects awarded to her husband. She also faces fraud charges relating to income taxes and federal workers compensation benefits.

In issuing her decision, Kravchuk questioned the credibility of statements made by Swan, who claimed in court she couldn’t read or write.

A selectman who served with Swan said some town paperwork practically requires a law degree.

 

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