November 10, 2010

State fights lower-level abuses of welfare aid

By David Hench
Staff Writer

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"She has no family that I'm aware of, no job, and the state is worried she will disappear," Black said. "I am concerned about the seriousness of the offenses."

Wright posted bail under an agreement with Maine PreTrial Services. A bail condition requires her to be at her home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4.

In Cumberland County, a grand jury charged Steven Muise, 52, of Gloucester, Mass., last week with theft, forgery and misuse of identification. The state alleges that Muise used his dead father's electronic benefits card to collect $1,400 over eight months in 2009.

In Androscoggin County, a grand jury indicted Kathleen Schidzig, 30, of South Portland last week on charges of theft and forgery.

She allegedly collected $10,000 from programs that help single parents get off welfare at a time when she had a live-in boyfriend who had a job.

In a news release Tuesday, Mills said, "When people in the private sector are losing their jobs, their homes, their hopes and their dreams, we in government have an even higher duty to guard the public purse and to pursue those who game the system and abuse the people's trust."


Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams contributed to this report.


Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


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