July 19, 2013

Maine trial of ex-selectwoman focuses on her workers' comp claims

Carole Swan of Chelsea walks into the courtroom stiffly and slowly as Friday's proceedings began in Bangor.

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Carole Swann

Staff photo by Betty Adams

Those same records show Swan briefly returned to light duty work sorting mail for several months before November 2003.

As a dozen witnesses called by the defense waited in the anteroom, Swan's attorney Leonard Sharon questioned Densberger about the claims review process, referring to hand-printed notes signed by Swan indicating she was unsure whether she was answering the questions on the forms correctly.

Sharon also pointed out an agency decision showing that Swan's selectman's stipend was not to be used to reduce her benefits.

Earlier Friday, Sharon sought to prevent the jury from hearing Densberger's opinion that Swan misrepresented her work capacity and failed to disclose income and activities on her applications for federal workers' compensation.

As testimony began in the morning, Swan appeared to be injured.

As she and her attorneys came into the courtroom, she walked stiffly and slowly, almost dragging one leg. At the end of the day, Sharon held her hand as she hobbled out of the courtroom.

She had no trouble walking on Thursday when proceedings concluded midafternoon.

Sharon did not say what was wrong with his client when he was asked.

Also Friday, David Lajoie, an Internal Revenue Service agent, testified that Carole and Marshall Swan owe $145,404 in income and self-employment tax on $571,350 of unreported income received by Marshall Swan Construction between 2006 and 2010, the years Carole Swan is accused of falsifying federal income tax returns by underreporting that income.

The Swans filed joint returns those years.

Marshall Swan is also charged with income tax fraud, as well as aiding and abetting fraud on a program receiving federal money. His trial is set to start Oct. 8 in the same court.

Carole Swan also faces three charges of extortion for allegedly accepting money from a contractor for awarding him town contracts. Those too will be the subject of a separate trial. Sharon said earlier that Swan would like to testify in her own defense in that case.

He has yet to say whether she will testify at the current trial.

Testimony began a half-hour later than usual Friday, with U.S. District Court Chief Judge John A. Woodcock telling the jury, "We were able to solve some legal issues so the trial should move more quickly."

The defense portion of the case is expected to start next week.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: badams@centralmaine.com.

 

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