LIVERMORE FALLS – Selectmen told the district attorney they would like to see jail time for Faith Nichols, who is accused of stealing $102,000 from the town’s Sewer Department over 18 months, Selectman Bill Demaray said Monday.

Former Selectman Joyce Drake also presented the board with a petition containing 122 signatures requesting selectmen to present a Recall of Elected Officials Ordinance to voters for possible adoption.

Demaray said Androscoggin County DA Norman Croteau met with the board in executive session prior to the selectmen’s meeting to give them information on what the charges are against Nichols and what the procedures are during the court process, he said.

Jail time and restitution or restitution with no jail time are among the options that could be used to resolve the case, Demaray said.

Nichols, 36, of Livermore Falls pleaded not guilty to felony theft of unauthorized taking in July but previously admitted to police and selectmen to taking the money. Through her attorney, she has also apologized for taking the money and vowed to pay the money back. She has repaid $25,000.

The board thought jail time is just as important as restitution, Demaray said.

“We felt justice wouldn’t be served if there was no jail time,” he said.

Jail time is needed as a deterrent in the future because Nichols’ “betrayed our trust,” he said.

The board tried to get Croteau to talk to the public, he said, but the DA was reluctant due to the ongoing criminal case and negotiating a plea agreement.

Croteau wants everybody to be aware that when they go to sentencing on the case, everybody would be able to speak and give input, Demaray said.

Once the plea bargain is struck, he said, Croteau would be willing to explain the agreement in public and get feedback.

Croteau is interested in hearing from residents, and letters may be sent to his office at 2 Turner St., Auburn, ME 04210-5978.

It could be six to nine months before an agreement is reached, Demaray said.

In other business, Drake said, she needed 97 signatures to present a petition for a recall ordinance to the board, and she had 122.

The ordinance could target any elected official in the town, except for school board members, to be recalled and removed from office.

The signatures now need to be certified as registered voters within 10 days of receipt of the petition by the town clerk or deputy town clerk. Within 10 days of the receipt of the certified petition, selectmen are required to order an election by secret ballot to be held 45 days thereafter, according to the proposed ordinance.

In the event selectmen fail or refuse to order an election, the town clerk shall call the election to be held not less than 45 days nor more than 60 days following the selectmen’s failure or refusal to order the required election.


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