A Maine lawmaker headed to court this week to face fraud charges continues to collect a legislative salary and allowances even though he hasn’t shown up at the State House in weeks.

Rep. Clinton Collamore Sr., D-Waldoboro, is charged with 20 counts of aggravated forgery, 11 counts of unsworn falsification and one count of violating the Maine Clean Election Act. He will be arraigned in Lincoln County Superior Court on Thursday.

Rep. Clinton Collamore

House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, formally requested Collamore’s resignation on Jan. 24, but as of Monday he had yet to provide it to the House clerk. Collamore was stripped of his only committee assignment on Feb. 2.

Collamore has not attended a legislative session since Jan. 17, which was a week before news broke about his Dec. 15 indictment. He has not requested a formal leave of absence, according to the clerk’s office.

House rules grant lawmakers only two unexcused absences without being granted a leave of absence. The only consequence for violating the rules appears to be a prohibition against voting or speaking on matters before the House.

Collamore, a 62-year-old lobster fisherman and former machinist and union official at Bath Iron Works, represents the District 45 communities of Bremen, Friendship, Waldoboro and Washington.


He did not respond to a phone message or emails requesting an interview to discuss the allegations, whether he would resign and, if not, when he would be returning to the State House. His attorney, Richard Elliott, also did not respond to a phone message.

Despite not being at the State House, Collamore is receiving his legislative salary and has so far been paid $6,860 in salary, a constituent services allowance and travel-related reimbursements since being sworn in, according to the Office of the Executive Director of the Legislature. Lawmakers are earning a total of $16,245 for this year’s legislative session and are paid biweekly over a six-month period.

Collamore’s 42-page indictment accuses him of committing 20 counts of aggravated forgery, a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; 11 counts of unsworn falsification (Class D); and one count of violating Maine’s Clean Election Act (Class E).

About 200 legislative candidates receive Clean Election Act funding each election year, according to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics, which administers the program and enforces campaign finance laws.

To qualify, candidates must collect small-dollar qualifying contributions from at least 60 registered voters in their district and submit them to the commission’s office by April 20 of the election year. A contributor must give $5 and sign a form affirming their contribution came from personal funds.

Commission staff said they believe Collamore forged more than 30 contributor signatures. He received more than $14,000 in Maine Clean Election Act funds.

A second legislative candidate also is being arraigned on forgery charges.

Matthew Toth, of Sanford, will be arraigned in York County Superior Court on Friday, according to the Office of the Maine Attorney General. Toth is charged with 13 counts of aggravated forgery and two counts of unsworn falsification. He is accused of forging and falsely certifying voter signatures.

Toth, a Republican, withdrew from the House 143 race when he was denied clean elections funding.

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