Penobscot County Treasurer John Hiatt. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.

County Treasurer and Bangor School Committee member John Hiatt appeared before a judge Wednesday on a child pornography possession charge, the same day he’d planned to kick off his reelection campaign to the school board.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray set bail at $1,000. Conditions include Hiatt having no contact with minors, not to be at schools, playgrounds or anywhere where minors congregate and not to possess any device that can connect to the internet.

Hiatt, 38, of Bangor was not asked to enter a plea because he has not been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. He is next due in court on Oct. 19.

He already is facing charges related to his alleged stalking and harassing of a 34-year-old Bangor woman on social media and in text messages sent to her cell phone earlier this year.

Hiatt was initially arrested on May 14 by Bangor police on multiple charges, including a felony invasion of privacy charge. Hiatt was taken to the Penobscot County Jail on Tuesday after being arrested by Bangor police on the child pornography possession charge.

The Penobscot County District Attorney’s office asked that bail be set at $5,000 cash, the same amount Hiatt posted in the stalking and harassment case. Hiatt’s attorney, Harris Mattson of Bangor, told the judge that a $5,000 cash bail was too high for a defendant like Hiatt who had already posted $5,000 cash bail and has no criminal history.

Mattson urged bail be set at $1,000 cash. He said that Hiatt was not accused of sexually assaulting or touching any children.

The conditions that he not be at a school and that he not be able to access the internet could prevent Hiatt from participating in school committee meetings either in-person or remotely if meetings are held in schools. Hiatt would be able to attend in-person meetings held in the City Council chambers, where most are scheduled.

He had at least two computers that police seized as evidence in their initial investigation this past spring. One was a laptop owned by Penobscot County to be used for county business. The other was a tablet owned by the Bangor School Department to be used for work by school committee members.

Detective Lt. Brent Beaulieu said Tuesday that the child porn possession charge stemmed from the earlier investigation but did not say if police found child porn on either of the devices.

The affidavit filed on the child pornography possession charge said that sexually explicit images of children who may have been as young as five were found on Hiatt’s cellphone seized in the stalking and harassment investigation.

The first image was found June 9, the affidavit said. At that point the forensic examination of the phone was stopped while a warrant was obtained to search it specifically for child pornography. That warrant was issued the next day. Further examination of the phone found other images and videos of young children being sexually abused by adults, the affidavit said.

Hiatt has vowed to fight the stalking and harassment charges and declined to resign from either elected position. He said Monday on his Facebook page that he would start his reelection campaign for school committee Wednesday when nomination petitions become available.

School Committee Chair Carin Sychterz declined late Tuesday to say whether the committee would call on Hiatt to resign or not seek reelection.

“We are consulting with our school attorney and member Hiatt is innocent until proven guilty,” she said. “However, we will be working with authorities, as needed.”

If Hiatt used the school department’s computer to view or download child pornography or to send messages to the victim in the harassment and stalking case, he may have violated the board’s code of ethics, according to pervious reports.

His term as county treasurer expires next year. Hiatt has said he would seek reelection to that position.

Penobscot County’s three commissioners did not reply Tuesday or Wednesday to a request for comment on Hiatt’s most recent arrest.

Commission Chair Peter Baldacci told WABI TV on Wednesday that he would introduce a motion at Tuesday’s meeting urging Hiatt to resign.

After Hiatt’s arrest in May, commissioners appointed Finance Director Judith Alexander as Deputy Treasurer in the event that Hiatt could not fulfill his duties as treasurer.

The Maine Republican Committee chair on Wednesday called for Hiatt to resign immediately from both positions and from the state GOP committee.

Possession of sexually explicit material of children under the age of 12 is a Class C crime.

Hiatt earlier was charged with one count each of aggravated invasion of computer privacy, a Class C crime; stalking, a Class D crime; theft by unauthorized taking and violating a bail condition, both Class E crimes; and two counts of harassment, a Class D crime.

He has not yet been arraigned on those charges because he has not yet been indicted by the grand jury.

If convicted of either possession of child pornography or felony invasion of privacy, Hiatt faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Class D crimes carry a maximum one-year term of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,000, and the maximum sentence and fine for a Class E crime are six months in jail and $1,000.