PORTLAND – Another campaign worker who collected contributions for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Richardson last year has admitted to violating requirements of Maine’s Clean Election Act and been ordered to do community service.

William Moore, 47, a painting contractor in Brunswick, pleaded guilty Friday in Cumberland County Superior Court to two counts of unsworn falsification.

In return, the state dropped four other charges and will dismiss the two misdemeanor charges if Moore does 120 hours of community service.

“I think there was sort of a casual attitude about complying with the Clean Election Act in this campaign,” said Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who has prosecuted three such cases, with a fourth pending.

The Clean Election Act requires candidates who want to run publicly financed campaigns to show they have grass-roots support by collecting 3,250 individual $5 contributions from supporters. Doing so entitled them to at least $400,000 for the 2010 gubernatorial primary and $1.8 million for the general election.

Campaign workers are supposed to verify that each person who signs a candidate’s petition donates the $5, Robbin said.

The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices does spot checks to ensure that people who have signed candidates’ petitions have donated their own money.

In the case of Moore and three other Richardson campaign workers, the commission found that either the person signing the petition had not donated $5 or the person submitting the petition to the state had not witnessed the signature and the contribution being made, even though they said they had.

Richardson, a former House speaker who later led the state’s economic development department, was denied the public funding and withdrew from the Democratic primary race in April.

One campaign volunteer, Joseph Pickering of South Portland, pleaded guilty Monday to five counts of unsworn falsification and was ordered to do 120 hours of community service.

Denise Altvater, an activist in eastern Maine, pleaded guilty last month to similar charges and was ordered to do 60 hours of community service.

A fourth case, against Lori A. Levesque of Fort Kent, is pending.

Moore, through his attorney, Leonard Sharon, sought a lesser punishment than Pickering’s.

The disputed donations were made in a bar in Brunswick, Sharon said.

In one case, a donor loaned another supporter the $5, and in doing so paid $10 herself.

In another case, a man who owed the bar money for a tab was told to direct $5 to the campaign to cover a waitress’s donation.

The third disputed donation involved the bartender saying that instead of paying for a drink, Moore should consider the $5 his contribution to the campaign, Sharon said.

“I think the people running the campaigns have more of a duty to sit down with the people working on their campaign and instruct them on the strict nuances of the different laws they’re laboring under,” Sharon said.

Moore’s case was especially concerning to the ethics commission because it was his behavior early on that prompted the initial complaint to the commission, Robbin said.

The commission notified the Richardson campaign that there had been a complaint of inappropriate collection of contributions but declined to identify the campaign worker.

Robbin said the sentences approved this week by Judge John O’Neil are fair.

“He thought this was the kind of violation, because it goes to the integrity of the system, that jail time might be warranted,” she said.

“The judge also recognized these were productive members of the community, upstanding citizens, with no prior criminal record along these lines. He recognized there’s a balance to strike here.”

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]