Former Auburn cop loses license and pays fine

AUBURN — A former local police officer who crashed after going through a red light pleaded guilty Thursday to driving to endanger.

CITsweetserP060410
Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Mitchel Sweetser former Auburn police officer right , appears with his attorney Scott Quigley in Androscoggin superior court, Auburn on Thursday for his sentencing on charge of driving to endanger.

Mitchell Sweetser, 43, of Auburn pleaded guilty last year to drunken driving, but he was allowed to change his plea to a misdemeanor charge of driving to endanger, provided he didn't violate conditions of his delayed sentence.

On Thursday, at Androscoggin County Law Library, he agreed to pay a $575 fine and lose his driver's license for 30 days, the minimum suspension allowed under law. The Class E crime to which he pleaded guilty is punishable by up to six months in jail.

If Sweetser had violated any of the terms of his delayed sentence, he could have been sentenced on the charge of operating under the influence.

The plea stems from a November 2007 accident on Hampshire Street in Auburn. Sweetser reportedly ran a red light that night. He was charged with criminal OUI. His blood-alcohol content was recorded at 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal driving threshold of 0.08. A police report said Sweetser apparently fell asleep behind the wheel.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne dismissed the initial charge moments before going to trial after a jury was picked and assembled outside the courtroom. The 25-year-old driver of the other vehicle in the accident had died unexpectedly seven months after the crash. Beauchesne said he wanted to wait for complete autopsy results before going to trial. He said he wanted to know whether that driver's death was connected in any way to the accident. If it had been, Beauchesne said he might have elevated the charge. But a state medical examiner's autopsy showed the death had "no causal connection" to the accident.

Prosecutors brought back the same charge against Sweetser in March 2009. Through his attorney, Sweetser argued last summer that prosecutors had taken too long to charge him again for the same crime.

A judge didn't dismiss the charge against Sweetser, but limited prosecutors to the evidence and testimony available at the time of the first trial.

Sweetser had always been interested in pleading guilty to a charge of driving to endanger, his attorney said.

Sweetser suffered a serious head wound when he crashed through the passenger window. He also sustained a shoulder injury.

A sergeant at the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department investigated the accident. The state was represented by a prosecutor from the District Attorney's Office in Oxford County because assistant district attorneys at the Androscoggin County office often work with local police. On Thursday, though, Androscoggin County Deputy District Attorney Craig Turner stood in for Beauchesne.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Dan Marquis's picture

Drug tester

This guy is a former police officer who lost his job because he was way over the limit. Now he has a business testing people for drugs. I don't think I would trust this guy to do any testing.

Kevin Hanscombe's picture

Treatment was more than likely equal and fair!

Rebam, that's not necessarily true??? Many Many 1st time OUI offenders get their case reduced depending on the circumstances, any prior record, ect. Also the case itself is sometimes a determining factor, and not everyone loses their job because of it too which can be a contributing factor..

They guy lost his career, has had his case printed through out Maine because he was an Officer, and still will have to pay fines and all that other stuff..

I am not giving him a free pass but whenever anyone hears cop, police, ect they think there is some sinister cover-up involved. IF that was the case I doubt we would have heard anything about it.. The fact he lost his career and was prosecuted tells me that the system did what it felt it was supposed to do.

Erin Cox's picture

If you guys had followed this

If you guys had followed this case from the get go you would have realized why he was given a lesser charge. His attorney made a smart move complaining about why it took so long for this case to move forward. The DA held out in hopes that the death of the driver, well after the accident I might add, was not a result of the accident. Once the DA had the autopsy results and it was deemed not a result of the accident he went ahead in trying to charge him with an OUI. Which orginally the guy had plans on pleading guilty to that charge also. However his attorney asked for a lesser charge due to it taking so long for the hearing. This would have happened for any Joe Blow out there who had an attorney. You all really need to stop watcing Training Day, CSI, etc etc.

 's picture

HE WORKS HERE...

I saw an article a while back that he was working in drug screening somewhere. All you had to do was GOOGLE his name. He's the owner of:

http://www.mmdrugscreening.com/

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You left one out,

You left one out, face..
Politicians who appoint these judges shoud have been placed in glass jars at birth.

Audrey Alcala's picture

Civilian panels....

The reason there are no "civilian panels" , Tron, is because cop haters like you would have every single one of them behind bars. I saw your comments about the Bates College incidents. I've seen your cop hating comments on other police related articles. Your kind of attitude is why there is not "civilian panel". In this case, yes....the officer or FORMER officer was drinking. But I hate to bust your plastic bubble, but not all police officers are bad. Now you go ahead and attack my comment like you do everyone elses that doesn't agree with you.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not every Department has no such 'panel.'

Mine was governed by a civilian "Police and Fire Commission" which was responsible for all hiring, firing, and disciplinary action over and above minor infractions. It also received all reports of citizen complaints. But remember - such Commissions and panels can be just as 'political' as the environment in which they operate.

 's picture

Since not every police officer is bad,

we should not punish the ones that are? What kind of logic is that?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Not having a good session on

Not having a good session on this one, T.

 's picture

Police Officer or not

He is only human we all make mistakes, The death was not related to the accident. If he is working as a guard or something like that, he has already been punished by not being on the force anylonger, He still has to support himself.

 's picture

OK, smarty pants

where does it say anywhere in this article that this ***hole has lost his rights to be a cop? He's probably working for some county somewhere, because he's definitely NOT in jail where he belongs. And why is the lame brain judge who agreed to this farce not mentioned? Why is the SJ hiding this coward's name?

Erin Cox's picture

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/m

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mitchell-sweetser/16/590/129 seriously Tron a piece of advice, get some education in law enforcement before you go on a bashing ramage with uneducated, ignornant misinformation. I think we can use the word Assume and its true meaning when you break it down......ASS/U/ME. I know your next complaint too, that he still has a job in a related field right? I believe every citizen has the right, after going through the court process, to learn from their mistakes and make their life better, cop, baker, or candle stick maker.

 's picture

tron, why not switch subjects

tron, why not switch subjects and tell us about your years spent in the looney bin?

Melissa  Dunn's picture

COMMENTING POLICY ON

COMMENTING POLICY ON SJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 's picture

I've noticed YOU changed the subject and

refused to answer the questions, or stay on topic. What's the problem, the subject matter to difficult for you?

 's picture

Well, booby, I read better than you do,

the headline says former AUBURN cop, not that he is no longer a cop, but that he no longer works for the city of Auburn. You need a certificate from the state in order to be a law enforcement official, and NO WHERE does it say that right has been revoked. The article doesn't mentioned whether he's employed as an officer elsewhere, or what he's doing. As usual, the SJ leaves out as much information as it puts in, usually because it is in cahoots with the cops. Perhaps you should join your namesakeand go to a real college instead of Husson.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Blind loyalty to his usual

Blind loyalty to his usual format?

RONALD RIML's picture

Tron - was he driven to drink by Fools like You??

Tron - was he driven to drink by Fools like You??

It's an 'Occupational Hazard.'

Dealing with idiots like Freakin' Batesies also takes a toll on one's psyche.

Read Joseph Wambaugh's 1975 novel "The Choirboys"

 's picture

The autopsy results of the 25

The autopsy results of the 25 year olds death were published in the SJ over a year ago. As I recall the death was ruled accidental as a result of either over the counter or prescription drug medication. All of you conspiracy buffs and left wing whackos should quit drinking that kool-aid.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

this shows a complete

this shows a complete disreguard for justice for all!! a 25 year old does not just die unexpectedly and the results sound like they are simply skirting the real cause, here another private autopsy should have been done. as well as proper reporting like pushing through the BS and finding the full cause of death. And IF death was linked in any way ALL THOSE INVOLVED THAT TRIED TO COVER FACTS IN ANY WAY SHOULD BE TRIED FOR CONSPIRACY AND AT MINIMUM LOST OF THIER JOB THAT INCLUDES M.E. TO D.A. lets get some real justice for this young man. Some would say why would these people skirt this to save a poiice officer they dont even know the answer is not the officer but to save a couple of million due to lawsuits which they would most likely lose if the result was in any way linked to the accident!! That being said the former officer should have been convicted LIKE ANYONE OF US WHO WOULD HAVE COMMITED THIS ACT UNDERLINE ANYONE OF US!!!! this is a complete out and out use of discretion BY THE D.A. and the Court Judge any chance they are the same as in the Lepage issue WE SHOULD STAND UP AND ASK FOR THE D.A. TO STAND DOWN ASAP!!!

Melissa  Dunn's picture

drinking/under the influence

drinking/under the influence and driving laws are not strict enough!

RONALD RIML's picture

How about underage drinking, Ms. Dunn?

And resisting /obstructing police???

Interesting that your Bates friends also wished to gut the 1st Amendment protecting the right to free speech.

 's picture

Three years after the fact, this drunk

is allowed to plead to a misdemeanor, and gets away with a slap on the wrist. Come on, how is this fair. He had BAC over twice the limit, got in an accident, where the other driver ultimately died, and he is still a cop? We need civilian panels to investigate police wrongdoings, the system we have now absolutely sucks.

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