Bar to Hold Disciplinary Hearing on Hancock County Prosecutor

Bill Trotter
July 23, 2012

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, which governs the professional conduct of licensed attorneys in the state, has decided to pursue a prosecutorial misconduct complaint against Assistant Hancock County District Attorney Mary Kellett.

The complaint stems from Kellett’s conduct in prosecuting former Gouldsboro resident Vladek Filler on charges that he had raped his wife. Filler, who now lives in Lawrenceville, Ga., originally was tried three years ago on charges of assault and gross sexual assault in connection with events that allegedly took place at the Fillers’ home off Route 186 in December 2005 and April 2007.

After two trials and two state supreme court appeals, Filler ended up being acquitted of all rape charges but was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to serve 21 days in jail.

In an 18-page disciplinary petition filed with the Board of Overseers’ grievance commission, Kellett is accused of violating four rules of the Maine Bar with statements she made during her closing arguments at Filler’s first trial, in January 2009, and by withholding evidence and interfering with subpoenas issued by Filler’s defense attorney for that trial. Filler’s second trial was prosecuted by First District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh, who is not accused of any misconduct in the case.

Kellett’s disciplinary hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled to be held next month, Aug. 30 and 31, at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Filler’s most recent appeal was argued before the Law Court last month. On July 3, the court affirmed Filler’s May 2011 conviction for misdemeanor assault.

Kellett was out of the office on vacation on Monday and was unavailable for comment, according to staff at the Hancock County district attorney’s office. Attempts Monday morning to contact Carletta Bassano, district attorney for Hancock County, were unsuccessful.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Lupton, who is representing Kellett in the matter, declined to comment Monday about the pending complaint.

J. Scott Davis, bar counsel for the board of overseers, also declined to comment on Monday, saying that the board’s policy is not to comment on pending complaints against attorneys beyond what is printed in disciplinary petitions.