SAVE Cites Excessive Delays, Bias with Hancock County Prosecutors
WASHINGTON / April 25, 2013 – A Hancock County prosecutor, found guilty in December on multiple counts of unethical conduct, has yet to be sanctioned for her misconduct. Assistant district attorney Mary Kellett’s unethical actions harm the credibility of real victims and represent a threat to innocent citizens, charges SAVE, a victim-advocacy group.
After a two-year investigation, a three-member panel of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar ruled on December 5, 2012 that ADA Kellett engaged in multiple incidents of prosecutorial misconduct. The Bar Panel found Kellett did not act as a truth seeker, misled the jury, and engaged in conduct unworthy of an attorney (1).
The Panel cited Kellett’s failure to turn over “at least two key pieces of exculpatory evidence” which were critical to the defense of Vladek Filler, who had been charged with sexual assault. The seriousness of Kellett’s misconduct, the Panel emphasized, “cannot be overstated.”
More than four months later, the Maine Judicial Supreme Court has yet to decide on Kellett’s punishment. Despite the Bar Panel’s recommendation for suspension of her law license, Kellett has been allowed to continue her prosecutorial work.
Prosecutor bias has been documented in other domestic violence cases in Hancock County.
Cynthia Boucher had violated the bail conditions for a previous domestic incident against her husband Michael, an Ellsworth city councilman. He ended up in the hospital with facial lacerations.
Despite being a repeat offender, Mrs. Boucher was offered a plea deal that removed the domestic violence and bail violation charges, replacing them with a charge of simple assault. Boucher was ordered to spend only a weekend in jail and pay a $300 fine. Her victim was forced to flee the area with his daughter and resign his city council seat (2).
“This 4-month delay in sanctioning Mary Kellett is unconscionable and outrageous,” notes SAVE spokesman Howard Goldman. “Dozens of innocent men may risk similar prosecution without probable cause, while female repeat offenders are being given sweet-heart deals by Hancock County prosecutors.”
SAVE calls for DA Carletta Bassano to immediately remove Mary Kellett from her prosecutorial duties, and urges the Maine Supreme Court to act promptly on the Bar panel’s recommendation to restore integrity and credibility to Maine’s criminal justice system.
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: www.saveservices.org