Former West Paris selectman could face 10 years in prison

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WEST PARIS — Toby Whitman, a former SAD 17 director and West Paris selectman, is scheduled to appear Jan. 9 in Unified Criminal Court in Augusta.

Whitman’s appearance is for a dispositional conference, which is a preliminary hearing scheduled after arraignment and after both parties have seen police reports, witness statements and other documents or evidence related to a case.

Whitman was indicted last month by a Kennebec County grand jury on a charge of theft by misapplication of more than $10,000 worth of property.

According to the indictment filed Nov. 15 in Unified Criminal Court in Augusta, the charge stems from action that took place on or between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 15, 2017, when Whitman allegedly committed theft in Fayette by “failing to meet an obligation to make a specific payment or other disposition in the agreed amount.”

The indictment also alleges Whitman “intentionally or recklessly failed to make the required payment or disposition of the property or services and dealt with the property or services obtained or withheld as his own.”

The value of the services was more than $10,000, which makes a conviction punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

While specific details of the charges against Whitman have not been released, Lt. Matt Gomes of the Maine Forest Service said generally these charges involve a logging operation of some sort in which one party feels it has been cheated by the payment.

“It’s a common problem,” he said, adding the Maine Forest Service investigates hundreds of such complaints each year.

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