A former Old Town police sergeant was sentenced Tuesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor to four years with all but nine months suspended on a dozen theft and tax charges.
Michael Hashey, 47, of Old Town last month admitted to stealing cash from the police evidence room and the Old Town Police Association between March 2010 and April 2015 and trying to cover up his thefts. He also admitted to falsifying deductions on his income tax filings to receive a larger refund than he was entitled to.
Old Town’s Director of Public Safety Scott Wilcox told Superior Court Justice William Anderson on Tuesday that “it has been a long three years” waiting for the case to be resolved. Wilcox also said that the whole department has been “painted” in a negative light because of Hashey’s crimes.
“We are getting through this as a unit and a team,” the chief said. “It’s important that the people of Old Town can trust the Old Town Police Department and that the court can trust the Old Town Police Department.”
All 17 members of the Old Town police department attended the sentencing. Outside the courthouse, Wilcox told reporters that he thought the sentence was fair and that it was important that the public know “these were the actions of one man.”
“It wasn’t the current administration that started this,” he said. “We were the ones that inherited it. It’s important that the community know we inherited this problem, that we’ve taken care of the problem and we’ve moved forward. And, they can trust the men and women that work for the Old Town police department.”
Wilcox said that Orono officers were covering Old Town so the entire department could attend the sentencing.
Hashey did not speak in court.
His attorney, Jon Haddow of Bangor, told the judge that Hashey used the money to gamble at Hollywood Slots in Bangor and had undergone counseling to address a gambling addiction.
The former sergeant has repaid more than $7,800 to the city of Old Town for money he stole while working as a police officer. Hashey’s plea agreement with the Maine attorney general’s office calls for him to pay more than $41,500 in restitution for tax refunds that he received illegally.
Hashey worked for 23 years in Old Town before he resigned in 2015 after the thefts were discovered.
In addition to jail time, Anderson sentenced Hashey to three years of probation. The judge ordered Hashey into custody immediately.
Hashey’s theft was discovered the Friday before Wilcox started his job as public safety director in March 2015. He previously was a police officer in Orono.
The investigation initially was brought to the Penobscot County district attorney’s office, which turned it over to the Waldo County district attorney’s office because of a conflict of interest. The case was later taken over by the attorney general’s office because investigators in Augusta were looking into false income tax filings.
Hashey faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the most serious tax charge.
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