Carole Swan’s attorney also says his client came from a dysfunctional family and was abused.

Carole Swan’s attorney says any imprisonment for her should be less – far less – than the suggested sentence of six to eight years for extortion and fraud because she comes from a dysfunctional family and worked hard to improve the town of Chelsea.

In a court document filed this week, attorney Leonard Sharon lays out Swan’s family and medical history as well as her community involvement in an 18-page memo that restates Swan’s position on all the convictions against her.

Swan, who spent 19 years as a selectwoman in Chelsea, was convicted in U.S. District Court in Bangor on Sept. 17, 2013, of three counts of Hobbs Act extortion for using her position as a selectwoman to seek kickbacks from Frank Monroe, who held the contract to plow and sand Chelsea’s roads. She also was convicted July 27, 2013, of two counts of workers’ compensation fraud and five counts of income tax fraud.

She is scheduled for a sentencing hearing at 1 p.m. Friday in Bangor. Her husband, Marshall Swan, was sentenced June 2 to 33 months in federal prison – the top end of the sentencing guideline – for filing false income tax returns for the years 2006-2010 and failing to declare some $650,000 in income.

“With regard to the Hobbs Act violation, Mrs. Swan maintains that she was conducting a solo investigation of Frank Monroe,” Sharon wrote in his memo. “Mrs. Swan maintains that any issue with her income taxes was a result of sloppy bookkeeping and not malicious intent. Further, Mrs. Swan maintains that she provided the office of workers compensation with what she obviously (erroneously thought) was the information they were seeking.”

Sharon wrote that Swan’s parents began to get a divorce when she was about 9, turning what had been a happy family into a dysfunctional one in which Swan suffered and once witnessed a fight that culminated in her mother chasing her father out of the driveway with an ax when he came to visit his children.

It details sexual abuse suffered by Swan, now 56, as a teen and says she had to do chores before any homework, was not permitted to participate in extracurricular activities and had to finish high school by taking correspondence classes.

It details her relationship with Marshall Swan, which began in her senior year at Gardiner Area High School.

“From then on it was up and down and up and down,” Sharon said. The Swans separated briefly last summer, but were living together as of Marshall Swan’s sentencing hearing June 2.

Carole Swan and the couple’s two sons testified that she was abused by her husband. He denied it.

Under a part of the memo titled “The Good Works of Mrs. Swan,” Sharon says she “has dedicated much of her life to the town she lives in and her community. Although recent events suggest a serious lapse in judgment, those actions should not erase the good works done in the community.”

He lists those as working to establish Chelsea Cares, which helps needy residents pay for oil, medicine and taxes; planting wreaths and flowers at the “Welcome to Chelsea” signs; advocating for fences around cemeteries to prevent snowmobiles from riding over graves; and raising money for race blankets for the Windsor Fair.

On the other hand, he says, “Mrs. Swan is acutely aware of the harm that she has caused as she continues to reside in the Chelsea community. Any time (she) goes out, she subjects herself to ridicule from a town that once lauded her. She has been a lightning rod for the anger of the town and has been, at times deservedly and at times maliciously, raked over the proverbial coals in person, in the newspaper, on television and throughout social media.”

Sharon said Swan has “a number of serious medical issues” relevant to sentencing, including requiring a special diet because of gastric bypass surgery, previous radiation treatments for cancer on her forehead and concerns that the prison system does not permit the medications she takes for shoulder pain, stemming from a 1994 injury while working as a rural mail carrier.

“Finally Mrs. Swan has entered counseling and undergone a psychological evaluation which notes that Mrs. Swan is suffering from severe depression and active symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder … Mrs. Swan has a history of significant and disturbing abuse throughout her life. Mrs. Swan has never known a healthy relationship with men and has a history of abusive and controlling relationships.”

He says she is “a good candidate for rehabilitative approach and incarceration presents an endangerment for her.” Swan has no previous criminal record.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark, has asked in his memo that Swan get a stiff sentence, saying she lied about her ability to pay a fine, failed to report property she sold and perjured herself by claiming she could not read or write well. Clark says Swan obstructed justice by failing to tell the U.S. Probation Office that she gave a gravel pit in Windsor to her son Jacob and sold property on McLaughlin Circle in Chelsea.

In response, Sharon argued that she should not be subject to a longer sentence for allegedly obstructing or impeding justice.

Sharon said Swan did not intend to obstruct justice, but wanted to tell the jurors about her beliefs.

“Mrs. Swan believed she submitted all of the necessary information to the office of workers compensation, she believed she submitted accurate income tax information, and she believed she was conducting an investigation of Mr. Monroe,” he wrote.

Sharon also requested that Swan be ordered to serve any prison time at the federal prison camp in either Danbury, Connecticut, or Alderson, West Virgina.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams