AUGUSTA — A legislative committee voted Monday to confirm District Attorney Andrew S. Robinson as a Maine District Court judge.

District Attorney Andrew S. Robinson addresses the judiciary committee Monday at the Maine Legislature during a public hearing on his nomination to be appointed a Maine District Court judge. Christopher Williams YouTube screenshot

Robinson, whose second four-year term as chief prosecutor for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, is due to end in December, announced publicly last month he would not seek a third term. A short time later, he was nominated to the bench by Gov. Janet Mills.

Robinson, 51, lives in Farmington with his wife and three children.

He has worked as a prosecutor in central Maine since 1999, first as an assistant district attorney in the Farmington office before being tapped as deputy district attorney in 2014.

Two years later, he was endorsed by then-District Attorney Norm Croteau in his run for the job as top prosecutor when Croteau retired.

Robinson said Monday that Croteau had been his mentor and, eventually, his friend.


Eight people spoke in favor of Robinson’s confirmation Monday. None spoke in opposition.

Androscoggin County District Attorney Andrew Robinson. Steve Collins/Sun Journal

“Andy is one of the kindest, hardest-working and intelligent people I have ever known,” Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, told the committee.

Maloney praised Robinson for his empathy with victims of crime, efforts at restorative justice and leadership in, among other areas, harnessing technology to streamline the process of disseminating criminal case discovery from law enforcement agencies to prosecutors and defense lawyers.

“A great leader focuses first on providing the public with reliable fair service and second on fixing any problems,” Maloney said. “Andy has always been that leader.”

In his role as district attorney, Robinson has supervised 14 assistant district attorneys and 23 members of the support staff, who said they view him as a considerate and dependable boss and a responsive community leader, according to Maloney.

“Everyone will miss him greatly,” she said. “Andy is a district attorney who has worked with his heart and his head.”


Maloney told the committee she testified in support of her former classmate and U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“What makes her particularly qualified is her time as a public defender,” Maloney said. “Likewise, it is Andy’s time as a prosecutor that makes him particularly qualified. The two jobs are similar because being a defense attorney and being a prosecutor gives a person daily one-on-one contact with the greatest problems facing our society.

“We see domestic violence, child sexual assault, vehicle manslaughter and child pornography. Both defense attorneys and prosecutors see this every day. We don’t just read about it. We see it.”

Fatuma Hussein of Auburn, who serves as the executive director of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, said Monday that Robinson over the past eight years has embedded himself into the community by attending community events and Friday prayers, engaging people in downtown Lewiston on the streets or at their homes or businesses.

“The communities that we serve are immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees,” Hussein said. “They’re mostly Black and brown people. They’re people who deal with immigration and other issues. We are underserved with people who don’t understand the laws of this country. Needless to say, we don’t know how to navigate the laws of this country.”

Many younger members of her community have run afoul of the criminal justice system, she said.


Robinson and his staff worked with those defendants “to either hold them accountable, or to have (them receive) services, or to send them to places where they’d have access to services,” Hussein said. “Today they thrive, they’re good citizens and they abide by the laws of this state and this country.”

Farmington criminal defense lawyer Woody Hanstein told the committee he has dealt with Robinson on the other side of the courtroom for decades and has always known him to consider all sides of a case before taking a position as prosecutor.

“You could not find a more fair-minded person, I think, to assume the position of a district court judge, and I think that the state’s lucky for it,” Hanstein said.

Elizabeth Ward Saxl, executive director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said Monday her organization “and the victim service providers we represent believe that District Attorney Andrew Robinson is an excellent choice for the bench.”

Walter McKee, a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta, said he has known Robinson for his entire career.

“It was clear from the start that he was not only a very talented and intelligent prosecutor who’s also very fair to deal with,” McKee said. “When Andy said something, you could really take it to the bank because you knew that he was a person of his word. Integrity really means everything in the practice of law. And he had integrity.”

McKee continued: “Perhaps even more importantly, Andy has always had a great deal of humanity when dealing with all the many cases we see in the criminal practice that involve people who’ve often made tremendous mistakes. As I often say, many defendants in criminal cases are just ordinary people involved in extraordinary circumstances. And Andy never lost sight of this when he handled a case.”

Gordon Smith, director of opioid response for the state of Maine, lauded Robinson for his role in working with Smith to secure funding in an effort to expand drug treatment and recovery courts into Franklin and Oxford counties.

The committee’s recommendation will next go to the Maine Senate for final vote on Robinson’s nomination.

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