February 9, 2012

Ex-Maine legislator charged with theft

Former Rep. David R. Burns faces several other charges involving misuse of public campaign funds.

By John Richardson jrichardson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA – A grand jury in York County has indicted former state Rep. David R. Burns of Alfred on charges of misusing public campaign funds.

Burns resigned from his seat last week following an investigation by the Attorney General's Office and its decision to seek criminal charges. The grand jury handed up the indictment Wednesday afternoon.

Burns is charged with one count of theft, three counts of forgery, one count of misuse of entrusted property, one count of violating the Clean Elections Act and three counts of making false reports under the act.

According to the indictment, Burns diverted more than $1,000 in public campaign funds to pay personal expenses, then filed false campaign finance reports. The indictment includes several receipts, including one for $250.72 for dinner at the Oak Street Bistro in Alfred and one for $146.41 worth of lumber and supplies at The Home Depot in Biddeford.

The Attorney General's Office began its investigation in December, after the state ethics commission found that Burns violated multiple campaign finance laws while running as a Republican candidate for state representative in 2010.

The commission said Burns transferred public campaign money into his personal bank account, used the money for personal expenses and gave false documents to investigators.

"I certainly have never seen anything at this level of severity and number of counts," said ethics commission Chairman Walter McKee on Dec. 1.

MaineToday Media State House Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

jrichardson@mainetoday.com

 

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