Former court employee from Hampden pleads not guilty to attempted theft, cover-up

Posted Aug. 15, 2013, at 1:45 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 15, 2013, at 3:53 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A former employee of the Maine court system who was charged last month with attempting to steal funds and trying to cover up the attempted theft pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Danielle A. Beckwith, 47, of Hampden, who worked as the supervisor of the Office of Transcript Production, did not appear at her arraignment at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Beckwith’s attorney, Marvin Glazier of Bangor, pleaded not guilty on her behalf to one count of attempted theft by deception and two counts of tampering with public records. The conduct that led to the charges occurred on Oct. 10 and 17, 2012, according to the complaint dated July 18.

Because Beckwith is charged with misdemeanor crimes, she was not required to enter her pleas in person.

As of Nov. 21, she no longer worked for the court system, according to Mary Ann Lynch, spokeswoman for the courts. Lynch declined Monday to comment on the charges or how the alleged attempted theft was discovered.

The Office of Transcript Production, where Beckwith worked, is on the third floor of the Penobscot Judicial Center. Employees prepare transcripts of court proceedings that are requested and paid for by attorneys or others who request them.

While working as a supervisor on Oct. 10, Beckwith “did intentionally create or reinforce the impression that an individual named Alex Winchester had paid a deposit on a transcript” and was entitled to a $2,750 refund, the affidavit said.

Alex Winchester is the name of Beckwith’s daughter, according to Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who is prosecuting the case.

On that same date and again a week later, Beckwith allegedly made false entries on a standard reimbursement form to the State of Maine Administrative Office of the Courts indicating that Winchester had paid a deposit for the transcript on Aug. 3 and was owed a refund.

Beckwith was first hired on July 9, 1990 as a court reporter, Lynch said last month in an email. She left that position on Dec. 12, 1995, but was rehired as a transcriber on July 11, 2005. She was promoted to supervisor on July 28, 2008.

On Oct. 10, 2004, Beckwith was charged with theft by unauthorized taking, a Class E crime, according to court documents. She pleaded no contest Jan. 27, 2005, and paid a $200 fine.

Lynch declined to comment on whether the people who rehired Beckwith in 2005 were aware of the conviction. She also refused to comment on whether the conviction was considered when Beckwith was promoted.

If convicted, Beckwith faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

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