AUGUSTA — The chairman of the Chelsea Board of Selectmen — accused of getting kickbacks from the town’s snowplow contractor — can conduct town business.
 
A judge on Tuesday changed bail conditions for Carole Swan to permit her to have contact with Selectman Michael Pushard, Town Manager Angela Gordon and Town Clerk Flavia Kelley at official selectmen’s meetings.

Otherwise, Swan can be at the Town Office only as often as once every three months to conduct personal business, such as car registrations.

The judge refused to lower the $25,000 cash bail that was posted Feb. 10 after Swan was charged with  aggravated forgery, attempted theft and two counts of improper compensation for services.

The charges span a period from Sept. 24, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2011, and all involve soliciting or receiving money illegally while holding public office.

Justice Robert Murray issued the two-page written order two days after a bail hearing at which the state’s attorney argued to maintain a ban on Swan’s contact with the other town officials, and her attorney saying she is a duly elected public official and should be permitted — with reasonable restrictions — to have contact with the other town officials in order to conduct town business and her own business.

“We’re very disappointed that the court is allowing Carole Swan to particiate in town business at all at this point,” said Stephen Langsdorf, the attorney hired to represent the town’s interests in the matter. “But we are satisfied because her participation is extremely limited so it will not affect the pending investigation and our efforts to protect the best interests of the town.”