The outgoing Republican district attorney for midcoast Maine is set to become a prosecutor in Cumberland County next year.
District Attorney Jonathan Liberman, who was defeated by his Democratic opponent in November, is expected to be appointed assistant district attorney in the state’s busiest prosecutorial district after he leaves office in January.
Liberman, 33, will join the southern Maine prosecutor’s office to be headed by Jonathan Sahrbeck, an independent voted in after his Republican and Democratic opponents dropped out to the race to succeed longtime Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson.
Like the election of Sahrbeck, a current assistant district attorney, Liberman’s expected appointment comes, in part, as continuation of the legacy Anderson set during her nearly three decades as the Republican head prosecutor in one of Maine’s most Democratic counties.
Early in his career, Liberman was an intern under Anderson. Sahrbeck said Monday that he will bring experience to the role and “comes very highly recommended” by the outgoing district attorney.
Sahrbeck said that it is not yet certain what sort of cases Liberman will handle or whether he will take over the role prosecuting sex crimes that the incoming district attorney is leaving. “I have to see where our budget is,” Sahrbeck said.
Liberman, a West Bath resident, said he is excited to continue working as a prosecutor and “will go wherever [the district attorney] needs me.”
Like all assistant district attorneys, Liberman’s appointment will require approval of a financial order by the governor and attorney general.
The move to Cumberland County follows Liberman’s defeat in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties by Natasha Irving, a 35-year-old Democrat who ran on criminal justice reform.
In 2017, after years as an assistant district attorney, Liberman was appointed to the top job in Maine’s sixth prosecutorial district after Gov. Paul LePage nominated longtime District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau to a be a district court judge.