Lincoln treasurer faces investigation, administrative leave

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Posted April 05, 2013, at 6:22 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Town Treasurer Gilberte Mayo has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, interim Town Manager William Lawrence said Friday.

Lawrence, who is handling the investigation, declined to say why Mayo had been placed on leave or when precisely the leave began. Lawrence is also the town’s police chief.

Town Council Chairman Steve Clay also declined to comment and telephone numbers for the Mayo family were disconnected on Friday.

Also the town’s welfare director, Mayo had served the town for decades, occasionally as interim town manager, in a career that goes back to the 1990s.

She and town Assessor Ruth Birtz made news last fall when they accepted responsibility for what Lawrence described as a $200,000 overbudgeting of revenue due to the double-booking of Homestead Tax Exemption funds and an $809,000 underestimation of projected expenses in the town’s Tax Increment Financing accounts.

Earlier estimates placed the shortfall caused by the errors at $1.58 million. Both errors occurred in the 2011-12 budget.

In October, Town Council members said Mayo and Birtz had compiled otherwise spotless personnel records and were due a great deal of credit for the town maintaining a high credit rating and sound fiscal practices.

The errors, which were attributed to miscommunication and a problem with the town’s spreadsheet program, have not yet had a direct impact on taxpayers. Town officials have said they don’t expect the errors would increase the town’s 19.86 mill rate.

As part of her responsibilities, Mayo also oversees the Town of Lincoln Heating Fuel Assistance Donation Fund. The program annually raises close to $10,000 and helps dozens of town families escape increasing oil prices.

Mayo also is the local government official who handled the Maine Senior FarmShare Program, which helps seniors get farm-fresh vegetables at discount prices from local farms.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/04/05/news/midcoast/lincoln-treasurer-faces-investigation-administrative-leave/ printed on September 19, 2014