BELFAST, Maine — A former town clerk from Montville pleaded guilty last week at the Waldo Judicial Center to a charge of theft and agreed to pay $1,635 in restitution.
Abbie M. Hills, 49, of Montville was charged with theft by deception but pleaded to a lesser charge as part of a deferred disposition agreement, according to the Republican Journal.
The clerk suddenly resigned in 2017, two months before town officials announced that the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles found discrepancies while conducting an audit as part of the town’s transition from manual vehicle registrations to computer-based software, according to BDN archives.
The audit revealed that Hills allegedly did not collect the correct amount of excise tax for some vehicle registrations, most of which were paid by her family members. The amount of money unaccounted for was relatively small, according to Montville town meeting minutes, and the board at that time was looking into whether the financial miscalculations were by “design or mistake.”
Although Hills initially claimed in a letter to the town’s audit board that the discrepancies were mistakes, the town continued to review registration documents and found additional irregularities in cash transactions by the clerk, according to the minutes.
According to the Republican Journal, the former clerk also must undergo a mental health evaluation, counseling and will be required to do 25 hours of community service within the next six months. Her final disposition hearing is scheduled for May 2020.