July 25, 2013

Swan says she to lied to police about bribes, bank forms

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BANGOR — On trial on multiple federal fraud charges, former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan apologized repeatedly today for failing to tell the truth to deputies investigating the case and for failing to read loan applications and bank forms.

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Carole Swan

Staff photo by Betty Adams

Full coverage: Carole Swan trial

“I didn’t tell them all the truth and I’m very sorry for that because we wouldn’t be here today,” Swan told U.S. Attorney Donald Clark.

She also told him she was unsure whether she was an owner of Marshall Swan Construction, an earth-moving company that did almost $1.1 million in business with the Town of Chelsea from 2006-2010 while she was a selectwoman.

Clark showed her documents she signed for vehicle loan applications at O’Connor GMC in Augusta and a bank account signature card opening an account at Cushnoc Bank (now Northeast Bank) in the names of Marshall Swan/Carole Swan doing business as Marshall Swan Construction.

“I’m very sorry I signed these things without reading them,” she said.

Swan, who is accused of 10 counts of federal fraud, including falsifying income tax returns in 2010  by failing to report $10,000 she said she received in kickbacks from Whitefield contractor Frank Monroe, testified that facing federal criminal charges no longer fazes her.

“There are things in my life that have changed my attitude like having cancer,” she testified, without offering any details.

She said the prospect of being convicted would be minor.

“I’ve lived in prison. I can live in prison again.”

Swan testified that her husband was abusive, “controlling,” and “a monster.” She testified he presents a different face to the outside world.

“In the working world, he does wonderful work,” she said. “He’s wonderful to the customers.”

She told jurors she had left her home of 30 years at 46 J&J Lane.

“I moved out of the prison I lived in July 6,” she said. “It was best for me to leave, and I will not be going back there.”

Swan, 55, told the prosecutor she did not know where her new permanent home would be. “All I know is I’m a disabled woman who cannot work. I’m going to live with my sister.”

Some of the jurors took notes during the cross-examination, which lasted more than three hours Wednesday and is expected to resume today in U.S. District Court.

Later, when Clark questioned Swan about visiting her home during the trial and showed her registration records indicating she had checked out of the Vacationland Inn in Brewer at least once, Swan’s attorney called foul.

As the jury waited outside the courtroom, Leonard Sharon told the judge he had not been notified of the information by the prosecutor’s office.

“What I do know is there are people watching us outside this courtroom,” Sharon said. “I don’t know if there’s been an intrusion into the lawyer-client relationship.”

Swan resumed testifying briefly, but then Chief Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. sent the jury out again so he could address Sharon directly, telling him to quit “sighing, rolling your eyes, looking over the jury, grimacing and objecting by body language.”

“All I can do is rule on the evidence before me,” Woodcock said. “You’re conveying to the jury that my ruling is wrong.”

Sharon said he considers the inn his office for the duration of the trial and the “government spying on me” interferes with his ability to represent Swan.

Some of Swan’s family members and her lawyers are staying there as well.

Earlier Wednesday, Swan told jurors that she had lied during her interview with sheriff’s deputies when she told them she had been accepting bribes from Monroe for a long time and from Reuben Bartlett, who worked for another contractor.

(Continued on page 2)

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