Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Double Standards for State Corruption

Ok... I am now moved to tell my story after reading this article in the Bangor Daily News about the former republican treasurer, Phil Roy using taxpayers money to buy a RV. But first, Roy's story. "Roy is a former Somerset County commissioner and chairman of the Fairfield Town Council. He was also a member of the Maine Board of Corrections working group, the Kennebec Regional Development Authority and the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments". He  is "a longtime Republican politician from Somerset County and managed a federally funded agency’s checking account as well as the checking account of the state Republican Party, for which he was treasurer" says the BDN.
What happened? The BDN wrote that "Roy wanted a camper that cost $15,000, didn't have the money so he used a GOP credit card to transfer $15,000 into the party’s checking account. He then transferred $14,600 from the Maine Republican Party’s operating checking account to an account in New York to pay for and complete the purchase of a camper. Then $15,000 from the the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board’s checking account 'went from the checking account to an account that Mr. Roy was personally authorized on at Savings Bank of Maine. The funds were then wired out of that account to pay for items of Mr. Roy’s personal use.' "Roy used that money to reimburse the Republican Party for the $14,600 he used to buy the camper". 
What was done about this? "What state officials have called the “misuse” of federal funds was kept quiet until now. Roy was allowed to resign from his job as fiscal agent at the federally funded agency, the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board, and as treasurer of the Maine Republican Party without public acknowledgement that he had used both groups’ checking accounts for personal purposes. And now he has authority over the $7 million dollar budget for Hancock County, where he serves as chief financial officer" says the BDN.
In other words, absolutely nothing was done. But yet, here is my story.
I ran for State Rep in 2006 against John Tuttle here in Sanford. Was my very first time running for office and wasn't knowledgeable about the rules of campaign funds. I ran under the Clean Election Funds for funding my campaign. The State (Jonathan Wayne of the Ethics Committee)  put these funds into my PERSONAL checking account and said, " the money is for your campaign and expenses". So, I used them for that. When it was for my campaign, I had receipts. When it was for my expenses, I wrote a personal check to keep track. I took care of reporting my campaign spending, but was waiting for a request of a report for my personal spending. It never came, until after the election in the form of a letter saying that I had to return all unspent funds back to the state. Well, there were no unspent funds. When I called them because they said that there were because of the difference between what I got and my filed campaign expenses reports, I told them that no one had asked for my personal expenses. Well, that's when I found out that NONE of the funds were supposed to have gone to personal expenses. *BIG SIGH*
So, I made a schedule to repay it back. 
Now, during this whole time, I had started a relationship with a man from Canada. I had been going back and forth, and towards the end, was spending most of my time north. I did fail in reading materials sent to me by the state, and probably could have found out about  the expenses guidelines had I read them. But, I put my personal, budding relationship ahead of my campaign and didn't read the materials. I'm not excusing myself, just explaining what was going on in my life.  I missed 3 payments, one because I just forgot and the other two because in checking my account online, I accidently cancelled them. When I was informed about it, I started double payments to make it up. But, Jonathan Wayne decided that I was to be "made an example of" and turned the matter over to the AG office for prosecution. By the time the matter was brought to court, I had paid about half of it back. During this whole time, I was in phone contact with the AG and they knew that I had made an honest mistake and was trying to rectify the matter. 
But 3 months after the civil case in which I hadn't contested, the AG office decided to bring criminal charges against me. I had to hire a lawyer and even he was perplexed as to why the AG office was going full speed ahead when it was clearly not a matter that fit a "criminal" status. But, he was told that there was "someone" who was very discouraged about what had happened and that the AAG had to answer to them and they wanted me to do jail time. All over an amount of $5,300.00 which, by my court date had been paid back in full. I had stood up, explained what had happened, that I had made an honest mistake, paid it back but was made out to be "an example". It did no good to do so as we can clearly see that since then, MANY dishonest people running for office or workers of the state have done far worse and lied about it. As clearly, this story of Phil Roy shows.
So, what is this truly about? Clearly, there is a double standard here. Because a woman working under Roy had stolen $50,000. and got 6 months in jail. But Roy gets nothing? But SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Rep. Robert Nutting who has stolen $3.6 million gets nothing? Nutting and Roy seem to not only get away with INTENTIONAL theft, but also get rewarded as well with silence of their misdeeds (so the public either hardly knows or don't know at all) and good paying high level jobs! I guess it all depends on not only who you know, or blow but also if you are willing to play the corrupt political game with those in positions of power. I was not one of those. I made an honest mistake, stood up and owned it and made restitution unlike Nutting or Roy (which BOTH involved FEDERAL funds, where mine was only state funds which got paid back) and got 30 days in jail and my reputation destroyed for doing so. But there's no room for such an honest person within the corrupt realm of government and those who dare to be honest, pay the costs while the real criminals get rewarded! That is Maine politics for ya.

1 comment:

    Maine is well-known across this country for its double standard of justice, selective and malicious prosecutions. Anyone contemplating a move to Maine will think twice. Unless they come for political reasons, they stand little chance at success and the "way lilfe should be" in Maine.

    Maine's own people have worked hard, owned and operated their own small businesses for decades only to have their businesses (and property)unlawfully confiscated through the corrupt practices allowed by Maine officials/entities who are the safety nets for such practices.

    Additionally, the Maine 'good ole boy network' doesn't want good, honest, decent people running for office. The criteria for "acceptance" apears to be the more corrupt, the more qualified!

    I am personally aware of the facts in your case, Debby, but you are not on their christmas card list......neither am I.

    Jonathan Wayne, Ethics Committee, is just so much of a player. His corrupt practices demand exposure and investigation!