HARTFORD – Despite being convicted last month of stealing nearly $21,000 from his employer, selectmen’s Chairman David Bowen got a strong endorsement from one man at Thursday night’s board meeting.

“Dave has gone through a hard time, but then so have many others. I fully support Dave Bowen as he is one helluva good selectman, person and businessman,” David Kraske said.

There was a burst of applause from the eight or so people at the meeting who also supported Bowen.

Bowen, 41, of 58 Lakeview Drive, pleaded guilty May 25 in Franklin County Superior Court to having six checks totaling $20,689 from Caswell Discount Wholesale Inc. of Waterville made out to him and depositing them into his local bank, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said. The thefts occurred from December 2004 to May 2006.

The money was payment for six truckloads of damaged products from Bowen’s employer, Jarden Home Brands of Wilton, according to Wilton police.

Bowen agreed to plead guilty to one count of theft in exchange for dropping another charge. He paid $20,689 restitution, was released on $1,000 unsecured bail and will return to court in 19 months to be sentenced to seven days in jail and a $5,000 fine, if he does not engage in any criminal conduct in the meantime, court records state.

Also Thursday night, John Convey and Arthur Harvey debated whether or not alternates on the Planning Board have the right to vote.

Harvey apparently had called Maine Municipal Association after Convey had asked him to wait and bring the question before the board Thursday night.

MMA did not answer the question directly and to quell tempers, Bowen asked the board to have Town Clerk Lianne Bedard call MMA, and if she didn’t get a clear resolution to call the town attorney.

In other news, Jeremy Johnson submitted the high bid of $6,575 for 10 acres on Desert Way to become the owner.

A bid to replace the Town Hall door for handicap access was turned down. The board decided to purchase the door with money in this year’s budget, and have it installed using money in the new budget that takes effect July 1.

The board also turned down a bid to build a walled area next to the new sand and salt shed for residents to get a pail of sand for personal use in winter. They decided to order the blocks for three walls and put a tarp on top.

Appointed were: Plumbing Inspector Kay Hawkins, Code Enforcement Officer Jack Plumley, Fire Warden Norman St. Pierre, Animal Control Officer Rick Houghton, Constable Chuck Merritt, Emergency Management Director Thomas Standard, Road Committee Steve Elsman, David Kraske, Al Borgelli, Bob Calawa and Jack Plumley, Ordinance Committee Daryl Boness, Planning Board Tom Harvey, Alternates Morrill Nason and Terry Smith, Appeals Board Peggy Poskus, Alternate Tanya Johnson, Cemetery Committee and Solid Waste Committee Sandra Cowette.

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