AUGUSTA — Statements former Chelsea selectman Carole Swan made to investigators should be suppressed, and her trial should be moved from Kennebec County, her defense attorney argued in motions filed in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Leonard Sharon filed several motions Thursday in the criminal case in which Swan faces a four-count corruption indictment pertaining to her duties as selectman.

Sharon wants Swan’s trial held outside Kennebec County “because of extensive and pervasive publicity, which so taints the atmosphere that it should be presumed that an impartial jury . . . is not possible,” Sharon said in the filing.

Swan was a Chelsea selectman for 19 years, most recently as chairwoman. She was arrested Feb. 10 and later decided not to run for re-election. Her term ended in June.

Swan, 53, faces the following charges:

* aggravated forgery, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, alleging she falsified a public record Feb. 1;

* attempted theft, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison or $5,000 in fines, alleging she authorized a $22,075 check from the town of Chelsea to pay a fraudulent invoice Feb. 3; and

* two counts of improper compensation for services, alleging she solicited or accepted money in return for promoting a contract while she was a public official. These are misdemeanors, each punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Swan has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $25,000 bail.

One of the motions filed Thursday asks a judge to suppress evidence Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office investigators gathered from Swan’s vehicle on Feb. 3.

Sharon maintains the search was warrantless and illegal and that Swan “did not knowingly, voluntarily or intelligently consent to the warrantless seizure of the items.”

The same motion asks a judge to suppress statements made by Swan the day the officers questioned her.

Sharon said those statements were illegally seized, and that Swan was not properly advised of her rights and so did not voluntarily waive them.

Other motions ask the court to order the state to hand over “any and all” audio and video recordings, including video taken from police vehicles and “exculpatory information regarding investigator (Gregory) Lumbert, including ongoing relationships with Frank Monroe.”

Lumbert is a deputy in the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office who is assigned to the Maine Revenue Service. It was unclear why Sharon sought information about Lumbert, since two other sheriff’s deputies have been the primary investigators. Sharon was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Swan is accused of accepting kickbacks from Monroe, a plow contractor from Whitefield. Monroe told police in February he had paid Swan $3,000 and $7,000 on separate occasions in 2010, and was being asked to inflate a bill for road sand so she could receive $10,000 more during the first week of February.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office then set up and recorded a sting in which Monroe paid Swan an undisclosed sum in marked bills. Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Swan was later arrested with the cash in her car and admitted the scheme in a subsequent police interview.

Sharon also asked that a judge order the state to provide more specifics about what Swan allegedly forged, and which part of the check authorization “forms the element of the crime of theft.”

Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle said he will oppose the change-of-venue motion.

“I expect Carole Swan can get a fair trial in Kennebec County, and I expect the court will take precautions to ensure that,” Fowle said. “My office tries to conduct itself in a manner which does not give credence to this motion. It’s a huge expense and reserved for the most compelling and extraordinary circumstances.”

Fowle said he expected that a hearing will be scheduled on the motion to suppress, and that all motions might be dealt with in October.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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