AUBURN — During last month’s court blitz, hundreds of cases were resolved over a two-week period, District Attorney Neil McLean Jr. told the Androscoggin County Commission on Wednesday.

The blitz, in which the court and attorneys resolve open cases that have built up on the roster, “went far better than expected,” McLean said.

McLean, who oversees District 3, which includes Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, described the process as exhausting. The process started at 8 a.m. each day and continued straight through until 6 to 6:30 p.m. All three counties had cases heard in Androscoggin County.

The blitz allowed prosecutors and defense attorneys to work with the judicial branch to resolve part of the huge backlog of cases.

McLean estimated that the backlog stood at 2,700 in Oxford, Androscoggin and Franklin counties combined. Of that number, 1,800 were selected for the blitz court.

The DA praised the court for fairly applying pressure to both sides to resolve more than half of them. Out of 956 cases, 792 were pleaded and 164 were dismissed. Most of the dismissals were due to defendants facing multiple charges with the lesser charges getting dismissed.


“We always had public safety in mind,” McLean said.

The process showed what can be accomplished if everyone is reasonable, he added. The hope is that cooperation and good will can continue moving forward.

The backlog of cases remains critical, with the assistant district attorneys feeling overwhelmed at times, McLean said. He revealed that he lost one of his assistant district attorneys earlier this week due to burnout.

Despite how well the blitz went, McLean said it will not be repeated. He warned defense attorneys and defendants not to wait for the next blitz to get a better deal because there won’t be one.

In other business, County Administrator Clarice Proctor reported that LD 258, Part 2 of the biennial budget, contains no additional money for the county jails. The state has historically provided 20% of the operating costs, but without the supplemental funding that level will be much lower. Local property taxpayers would need to cover the difference.

“If we are flat funded again this year, we will have problems,” Proctor said.

William Hall was hired as the new county treasurer.

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