FARMINGTON — Longtime state prosecutor James “Jim” Andrews will become the new deputy district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties when he is sworn in Jan. 5.
His wife, Claire Andrews, a state prosecutor in Androscoggin County, will serve as assistant district attorney in Franklin County. She will join Joshua Robbins in the District Attorney’s Office in Farmington, Andrew Robinson, the deputy district attorney, said Wednesday.
Robinson was elected in November as district attorney for the three counties. He takes over for Norman “Norm” Croteau on Jan. 1.
An open house for Jim Andrews will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at the Franklin County DA’s Office.
Patricia Mador, an assistant district attorney in Sagadahoc County, will replace Claire Andrews in the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office, Robinson said.
Robinson worked with Jim Andrews for 13 years in Franklin County and wanted him to come to Lewiston-Auburn to work with him, Robinson said.
“We worked really well together,” he said.
There are no changes planned for prosecutors in Oxford County, he said.
The two will work to put in place a unified criminal docket in Androscoggin and Oxford counties.
Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley wants a unified criminal docket in place in courts in the state by July 1, he said.
Franklin County changed to a unified criminal docket in April 2013. The unified docket is designed to streamline the process of criminal cases, Robinson said. It establishes fixed days for court appearances. There is an arraignment date, a disposition conference day, a motion day and a jury trial day.
The intention is once a defendant comes through the courthouse door, they will know specifically the days they need to be in court, he said. It allows the state and defense attorneys to spend more time on cases to try to reach a resolution, he said.
The unified criminal docket turns a two-tiered system into a single efficient process for processing criminal actions and certain associated civil violation actions, according to the state website, courts.maine.gov/maine_courts/ucd.
The goals of the unified system are to promote the prompt and fair resolution of cases through early information sharing, early access to appointed counsel for indigent defendants and judicial attention to the case resolution process. It also increases efficiency by eliminating the duplicative clerical workload created by the current system of case transfer between the District Court and the Superior Court, and by reducing the number of court appearances required to process individual cases, the website states.
All of the state prosecutors who currently serve under Croteau need to be resworn into office Jan. 5, Robinson said. He will oversee 11 prosecutors, including Jim Andrews, he said. There are three prosecutors in Lewiston, Auburn and Oxford and two in Franklin County.
Andrews said he has been a state prosecutor since 1990. He has served in the Lewiston and Cumberland County offices and came to Franklin County in September 1998.
His wife was a civil litigator for many years for a large firm in Boston and then in Portland, he said. She eased her workload when the couple’s children were young. The children are older now, and she decided to apply for a job in Androscoggin County and was hired in June.