July 19, 2013

Swan testimony focuses on workers' comp records

The former Chelsea selectwoman claimed she could not work due to an on-the-job injury.

By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal

BANGOR – In Carole Swan's own words, her life was devastated by an injury at her job with the U.S. Postal Service in the 1990s.

click image to enlarge

Carole Swann

Staff photo by Betty Adams

"I do not work, I cannot work. I cannot even clean my own house or blow dry my hair. I cannot ride horses. I cannot have a garden, I cannot play ball with my children. I cannot go boating. Sometimes I cannot even get meals for my family. I have to have injections for pain and medications. I am left with only injuries that I cannot pay for. This has changed my life."

The former Chelsea selectwoman wrote those words on forms confirming to a federal benefits program that she was not working, even in a volunteer capacity.

Those statements contrast sharply with testimony that she was active in Chelsea politics and business, including scrambling down the sides of the Windsor Road culvert to inspect a washout in 2007, as well as doing banking and taxes for Marshall Swan Construction, the business she told people she co-owned.

Friday was the 10th day of Swan's U.S. District Court trial on multiple charges of defrauding federal programs, including the Federal Workers' Compensation Program.

In some years, Swan noted on her benefits applications that she received a $3,000-$4,000 stipend for being a Chelsea selectwoman and spent about one and a half hours every other week in that capacity.

And in 1999 and 2000, she reported she was involved in a harness racing business in name only, that it was operated by her brother in Ohio, and that she had no contact with those horses. "I do not go near them," she wrote.

A 3,300-plus page record kept by the Office of Workers' Compensation Program that contained a description of Swan's injuries, medical treatment records and her self-reported earning capacity and income was the focus of testimony Friday.

Swan is accused of defrauding that program between 2008 and 2011 by failing to disclose her ownership in Marshall Swan Construction, as well as money she allegedly extorted from Whitefield contractor Frank Monroe. 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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