LEWISTON — Members of the Verrill Dana law firm’s executive board in 2007 testified today that they were convinced that lawyer John D. Duncan had not stolen money from any clients, but had only taken funds that should have been deposited to the firm’s general account.

The lawyers said they agreed with the recommendation of then managing partner, David Warren, to accept a repayment and an apology from Duncan.

Mark Googins said Duncan’s impeccable reputation over 30 years at Verrill Dana was a factor in his decision to accept Duncan’s explanation, which later proved to be a lie.

“If you made a list and said, this happened, guess who it was, after Roger Putnam John would be last on that list,” Googins said during a disciplinary hearing for himself, Warren and four other Verrill Dana lawyers.

They only later learned Duncan had stolen roughly $300,000 from clients and the firm over a 10-year span.

The Maine Board of Bar Overseers seeks professional sanctions against the lawyers for not fully investigating the matter and for not reporting it immediately to the state ethics board. The lawyers say they handled the matter appropriately and should not face sanctions.

The three-day hearing is expected to wrap up this afternoon at Lewiston District Court. Justice Donald Alexander will make a ruling at a later date.