Trial of former court employee for attempted theft, cover-up begins in Newport District Court

Posted June 30, 2014, at 9 a.m.
Last modified June 30, 2014, at 8:14 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — The daylong jury-waived trial of a former employee of the Maine court system charged last year with attempting to steal funds and trying to cover it up began Monday in Newport District Court.

Danielle A. Beckwith, 48, of Hampden, who worked as the supervisor of the Office of Transcript Production located at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, was charged last July with 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.

On Aug. 15, Beckwith’s attorney, Marvin Glazier of Bangor, pleaded not guilty on her behalf at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Because Beckwith is charged with misdemeanor crimes, she was not required to enter her pleas in person.

Due to possible conflicts of interest, retired District Court Judge John V. Romei, who presided for 21 years in Washington County, is handling the case.

As of Nov. 21, 2012, Beckwith no longer worked for the court system, according to Mary Ann Lynch, spokeswoman for the courts. Lynch declined last year to comment on the charges or how the alleged attempted theft was discovered.

The Office of Transcript Production for the entire state, where Beckwith worked, is housed 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 used her daughter’s name to intentionally create or reinforce the impression that an individual had paid a deposit on a transcript and was entitled to a $2,750 refund, the affidavit said.

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 someone 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 year 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 on the new charges, Beckwith faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

 

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