September 3, 2013

Jury selection Wednesday in ex-selectwoman's extortion case

Carole Swan, accused of seeking bribes from a town contractor, says she was conducting a sting.

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Carole J. Swan

click image to enlarge

Frank Monroe

In it, she tells them she doesn't remember how she started taking kickbacks, but it began when Monroe gave her an unsolicited $1,000 at her home and later $6,000.

"That's where it all started," she said. She told the deputies she received over $25,000 over the years "for greasing the wheels," including the $10,000 amount she expected to get that day.

On the witness stand, Swan testified that she had lied to the deputies about the payments and did not tell them that she had undertaken an investigation of Monroe.

Woodcock allowed Swan to remain free on bail while she and her attorney prepare for the second trial.

A separate trial on the extortion charges was set after Swan said she wanted to testify in her own defense to tell jurors she was conducting a solo sting to prove that Monroe was shortchanging the town on winter sand. However, she said she did not want to testify about the other charges.

That changed, however, and Swan spent a total of two days on the witness stand, testifying about her dealings with Monroe and about her home life. Part of her defense included testimony from her and her sons that she was subjected to domestic abuse by Marshall Swan, her husband of 29 years, and feared him so much she lacked intent to commit fraud.

Prosecutor Clark, in his opening statement at the earlier trial, said he had evidence showing that Swan received $3,000 in her driveway from Monroe around Jan. 25, 2010; an additional $7,000 from him on Dec. 3, 2010, at the Chelsea sand shed, and expected $10,000 from him on Feb. 3, 2011.

Monroe took the stand in July and testified that on the first two occasions he paid Swan with his own money. But when she told him to short the town on sand, bill the town for $20,075, and kick back $10,000 to her, he said he felt he had to go to sheriff's deputies. "I was wrestling with who to go to and not have it come back to bite me," he testified.

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

badams@centralmaine.com

 

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