ALFRED — A former Alfred legislator will be spending the next six months in jail after entering guilty pleas to misdemeanor forgery and theft charges in connection with his 2010 election campaign.

Republican David R. Burns of Alfred had represented House District 138 ”“ Alfred, Limerick, Newfield and Shapleigh ”“ for little more than a year before resigning his House seat Jan. 31. He was indicted two weeks later and resigned as Alfred selectman at that time.

Burns entered guilty pleas to six counts ”“ three counts of theft and three counts of forgery ”“ at York County Superior Court this morning. A felony theft count was dismissed, along with misdemeanor charges Burns misused entrusted funds and committed violations of Maine’s statutory election laws.

Justice Paul Fritzsche sentenced Burns to 364 days in jail, with all but six months suspended and one year of administrative release following the conclusion of his jail sentence, with the condition he pay $2,384 in restitution. Fritzsche called administrative release “probation without a probation officer” and said if Burns violated the terms of the release he could be sentenced to the remainder of the 364 days.

The criminal charges, handed up by a York County Grand Jury in February, came after the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices found Burns, a clean elections candidate, violated eight campaign finance laws and referred the matter to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Outside the courtroom following the hearing Burns, surrounded by his family, declined to comment.

Asked why his client chose to admit his guilt, attorney William Logan deferred comment to Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who prosecuted the case.

“The evidence was overwhelming,” said Robbin after the court hearing. “And good for him to take responsibility.”

Fritzsche agreed to stay the commencement of Burns’ jail term. He is to report for custody at 8 a.m. Monday.

— See Friday’s Journal Tribune for more on this story. Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, Ext. 327 or [email protected].

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