May 24, 2018
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Kennebec, Somerset district attorney introduces new team

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties introduced her team of prosecutors on Thursday, five months after she was elected.

Outside the Kennebec County Superior Court building, District Attorney Maeghan Maloney assured the public that both counties are fully staffed with capable and experience professionals.

“We’re experienced and ready to work,” said Maloney.

Maloney hired four new assistant district attorneys after a few departures before the election. Maloney, a Democrat from Augusta, defeated Republican Darrick Banda of Manchester in November.

Brent Davis, who has worked out of the Skowhegan office for more than 12 years, was named first assistant district attorney by Maloney on Thursday.

“While I was campaigning, I was often asked whether or not, if I was elected, Mr. Davis would continue to work at the district attorney’s office,” said Maloney. “It quickly became clear to me that he is one of the most respected and well-regarded people in Somerset County. And now that I’ve had the opportunity to work with him, I understand why that is.”

Fernand LaRochelle, who worked as a homicide prosecutor for the state of Maine for more than 30 years and is the former chief of the criminal division at the attorney general’s office, was named deputy district attorney by Maloney.

“There are few people in law enforcement in the state of Maine who do not know and respect Mr. Larochelle,” she said. “His knowledge and his ability are unsurpassed, but so is his passion and his integrity. I feel extremely blessed to be able to work with him.”

Maloney also introduced the rest of her assistant district attorneys, including Alisa Ross, Carie James, Francis Griffin, Kate Marshall, Kristin Murray-James, Tracy Devoll, David Spencer, Frayla Schoenfeld and Joelle Pratt.

Marshall, Schoenfeld, LaRochelle and Spencer were new hires.

Maloney said she would like her office to focus on domestic violence prosecution. She and a domestic violence investigator will attend a conference in Boston in April. They will attend with members of the Family Violence Project and Men’s Work, two organizations committed to stopping domestic violence.

“We’re going to be focused on creating a community response to domestic violence,” said Maloney. “One that really looks at the situation from start to finish to make sure we’re always arresting the right person and we’re always prosecuting the correct person and to have that full community response.”

The first high-risk domestic violence response team will be set up in Skowhegan and Somerset County, she said. Assuming that is successful, a team will be set up in Waterville and then Augusta.

The teams will focus on four aspects related to domestic violence crimes — investigation, prosecution, support for victims and rehabilitation for offenders.

Maloney said her salary is approximately $87,000 per year. The salaries for the assistant district attorneys range from $44,600 to $72,000, she said.

Maloney went to Leavitt Area High School in Turner and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1997, according to her resume. She has worked as a private investigator in Washington, D.C., an assistant district attorney in Portland, Ore., an assistant attorney general for the state of Maine and was most recently in private practice at Maloney Law Offices in Augusta in addition to being a state representative.

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